Kraft gets ACCC approval for proposed Cadbury takeover

Posted by James Ferre on 17th December 2009

Kraft has received regulatory approval in Australia for their proposed purchase of Cadbury.

The hostile takeover offer remains in the hands of Cadbury shareholders, although is likely to need to be sweetened given Cadbury management have consistently labelled it as “derisory”.

But the deal has passed at least one more hurdle this week with Australian regulatory approval coming on the back of similar approval in the US. European authorities are due to report their opinion on the deal on January 6 after Kraft made some concessions to help ease competition concerns.

“The ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition was unlikely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the relevant market,” Australia’s competition watchdog advised. “The ACCC considered that the proposed acquisition would result in a marginal increase in concentration and that the merged firm would continue to be constrained by other significant suppliers of chocolate confectionery in Australia.”

“The ACCC also considered that the merged firm would be unlikely to have any increased ability or incentive to leverage its strong brands such as ‘Vegemite’ or ‘Cadbury Dairy Milk’ to foreclose competition in related markets.”