Ferrero confirms plans not to bid for Cadbury

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 27th January 2010

Italian confectioner Ferrero has ruled out a late takeover rival bid for Cadbury, formally declaring itself out of the race for the Dairy Milk maker.

The announcement to the City this morning (25 January) came on the final day for firm offers under the UK’s takeover rules.

Ferrero said in a statement that it “does not intend to make an offer for Cadbury”.

US chocolate giant Hershey had ruled itself out of the running on Friday.

Hershey and Ferrero both issued statements at the end of November to confirm that they were studying a possible move for Cadbury.

The two sides had been at the centre of speculation over a joint bid or separate, solo pursuits for Cadbury.

However, after Kraft Foods last week won the backing of the UK confectioner’s board by raising the value of its takeover bid, the likelihood of a competing offer was deemed unlikely.

Kraft’s renewed offer values Cadbury at GBP11.5bn (US$18.8bn), or 840 per share, up from the previous bid of GBP10.5bn. Cadbury shareholders will also receive a special dividend of 10 pence per share.

The higher offer, which represents 13 times Cadbury’s 2009 EBITDA, was enough to win the unanimous support of the UK firm’s board.

Cadbury shareholders now have until 2 February to decide whether or not to accept Kraft’s offer.

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