Geneva/Lausanne, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – US-based Kraft Foods went public with an offer for Cadbury, UK confectioner, after the British company refused its proposal. Kraft is offering £10.2 billion for Cadbury, which formally turned down the proposal Monday 7 September, noting in a statement that “the board is confident in Cadbury’s standalone strategy and growth prospects as a result of its strong brands, unique category and geographic scope and the continued successful delivery of its ‘Vision into Action’ plan. The board believes that the proposal fundamentally undervalues the group and its prospects.” Shares in the company rose strongly Monday.
The possible merger of the two would create a company worth $50 million, according to Kraft, which is the world’s second largest food company. Vevey-based Nestlé, the largest, refused to comment on the proposal Monday, but CEO Peter Bulcke told reporters Monday that he would not rule out a counter-bid. The company spends up to CHF2 billion on year on acquisitions. Bulcke was speaking during the grand opening of Nestlé’s Chocolate Centre of Excellence in Broc, canton Fribourg.
Cadbury in 2008 moved its European head office from London to Switzerland, in Rolle, canton Vaud.