Ferrero edges closer to decision on Cadbury

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 12th January 2010

Ferrero, the Italian confectioner linked to a possible counter-bid for Cadbury, has insisted it is still mulling whether to launch a raid on the Dairy Milk maker and said the company is looking at “all options”.

The Ferrero Rocher and Kinder chocolate maker admitted back in November that it was interested in Cadbury and has since been linked to a joint bid with Hershey and to a possible sortie alongside private-equity firms KKR and Blackstone.

However, the confectioner has kept its counsel amid the rumours and today (11 January) refused to comment directly on weekend reports in Italy that it had lined up finance worth GBP2.8bn (A$4.8bn) ahead of a possible bid for Cadbury.

A Ferrero spokesman described the weekend reports as “speculation” and said the company is still weighing up its options.

“For the moment, there is no more comment apart from what we already said in November. We are in the process of examining the files,” the spokesman said.

When asked whether Ferrero was in talks with Hershey or private-equity firms over a possible bid for Cadbury, the spokesman said: “The process includes all options on the market. We are studying all different kind of options.”

Cadbury will tomorrow issue details of its defence against Kraft Foods’ latest offer. The US food giant tweaked its offer last week with the promise of a bigger cash portion in its cash-and-stock offer.

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