Hershey pulls out of Cadbury race

Posted by Isobel Drake on 25th January 2010

Hershey has advised that they will not make a bid for Cadbury in light of the revised Kraft offer that surprisingly gained the British confectioner’s support last week.

Talks between Kraft’s Irene Rosenfeld and Cadbury heavyweights last Monday night helped lead the US maker of Oreo and Vegemite toward a new proposal that would be recommended by Cadbury’s Board. And, with Hershey pulling out, it now appears almost certain that the A$21 billion deal will go through.

Hershey, along with Ferrero, announced interest in Cadbury last month but both ended up exiting the battle before it ever really began, with no offer ever tabled. The US and Italian firms were always likely to find it difficult to compete with Kraft given their comparative size – Kraft is the second biggest food company in the world while they are both smaller than Cadbury – and Kraft’s higher deal simply made it too much of a risk.

Cadbury shareholders now have until February 2 to vote on the Kraft proposal.