Hostile bidder Kraft Foods has made a posted its official offer document to Cadbury shareholders – triggering a two-month £9.8 billion takeover fight.
The US firm has confirmed to investors it has sent the document today, confirming the offer of 300p in cash and 0.2589 new Kraft Foods shares for every share in the Bournville giant.
Cadbury, which employs thousands of workers in the West Midlands, has turned down all offers from Kraft so far and believes its business will be stronger if it remains independent.
Irene Rosenfeld, chairman and chief executive of Kraft Foods, said: “We remain confident that the unique combination of Kraft Foods and Cadbury would create a significant growth opportunity for both businesses. That’s why we believe this Offer is in the best interest of both companies’ shareholders.
“Our offer is fully financed, represents a substantial premium to Cadbury’s unaffected share price and provides both immediate value certainty and meaningful longer-term upside potential.”
The current terms of the offer value the historic Birmingham group at 715p, compared Cadbury’s closing share price in London of 800p.
Now the document has been posted there is a 60-day timetable under UK takeover rules.
It has until day 46, the middle of January, to raise its bid for the Dairy Milk chocolate maker. Cadbury now has until day 14 to publish its defence document.
Cadbury shares have been boosted by hopes of a higher Kraft offer and potential bids from rivals such as Italy’s Ferrero and Hershey Co, of the US, and possible interest from Nestle in a joint bid with Hershey, analysts said.