Page last updated at 08:48 GMT, Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Cadbury in further bid fightback

Roger Carr, Chairman of Cadbury: "the bid from Kraft is hostile"

Cadbury has reiterated that its shareholders should reject Kraft's takeover bid as it said it enjoyed an "outstanding" performance in 2009.

The UK confectioner said its financial performance last year was well ahead of market expectations.

"Don't let Kraft steal your company with its derisory offer," said Cadbury chairman Roger Carr, adding that Kraft was likely to cut jobs in the UK.

Kraft launched its hostile takeover bid for Cadbury in December.

The original bid was £3 plus 0.26 new Kraft shares for each Cadbury share. Last week Kraft said it would increase the cash element of the bid after it raised money by selling its North American pizza business.

7 Sep: Kraft tables offer for Cadbury, valuing the company at about £10bn. The bid is immediately rejected by the Cadbury board
9 Nov: Kraft goes hostile with its takeover bid, and Cadbury again rejects the offer
4 Dec: Kraft details offer aimed at Cadbury shareholders, setting 5 January deadline
14 Dec: Cadbury publishes its defence document, urging its shareholders to reject the Kraft offer
31 Dec: Deadline for shareholders to accept the Kraft bid is extended to 2 February
5 Jan: Kraft announces revised offer with higher cash proportion
6 Jan: Kraft reveals that its initial offer for Cadbury has gained support from investors holding just 1.5% of Cadbury shares
12 Jan: Cadbury repeats its opposition to the Kraft bid
15 Jan: Deadline for Cadbury to issue trading update
19 Jan: Deadline for Kraft to publish details of revised offer
2 Feb: Deadline for Cadbury shareholders to accept Kraft bid

In Cadbury's latest defence document, Mr Carr said that the offer "is even more unattractive today than it was when Kraft made its formal offer in December".

Cadbury said that it believed that the company's value had increased since Kraft first approached the company about a takeover in September last year.

Chief executive Todd Stitzer said: "Our performance in 2009 was outstanding. We generated good revenue growth despite the weakest economic conditions in 80 years."

The firm said that its results had been boosted by strong growth in the fourth quarter of 2009 and by cost savings.

Cost cuts

Chairman Roger Carr said a Kraft takeover would be bad news for Cadbury workers.

"The issue looking forward for them is for Kraft to make this pay for their shareholders they have to extract large synergies," he told the BBC.

"Synergies is a euphemism for heavy cost cuts and therefore inevitably plants and jobs would be lost."

Cadbury will reveal a fuller trading update later in the week.

Kraft has until 19 January to decide whether to raise its offer for Cadbury. If its final offer is rejected, it will then have to wait another year before it can bid again.

Kraft remains the only current bidder for Cadbury, after Swiss food giant Nestle ruled itself out, although US confectioner Hershey has previously expressed interest in a possible bid.

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Finance 24 Cadbury: Kraft bid 'unappealing' - 6 hrs ago
Financial TimesFerrero debates Cadbury retreat - 8 hrs ago
People's Daily Online Cadbury investors urged to snub offer - 11 hrs ago
Philadelphia Inquirer Cadbury makes case against Kraft takeover bid - 15 hrs ago
Sydney Morning Herald Cadbury makes case against Kraft bid - 16 hrs ago
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