Commentaries

Now raising intellectual capital

Takeover Panel sets Cadbury clock ticking for Kraft

Photo
-

KRAFT-CADBURY/So Cadbury has succeeded in convincing the UK’s Takeover Panel — the City of London body which polices M&A — to slap a “put up or shut up” order on Kraft.

Kraft now has until Nov. 9 to decide whether to make a formal offer for the British confectionery group. If it decides to walk away, it is not allowed back for six months.

Cadbury shares are still trading above the price of Kraft’s informal stock and cash offer. At just over 8 pounds per share, the current price is some 10 percent above the indicative offer, which is now worth just 7.20 pounds. But shareholders in Cadbury — which is a household favourite in the UK — aren’t being that ambitious in their expectations for an improved offer. The shares are trading at nowhere near the multiples which were initially bandied about after Kraft’s approach became public.

And despite noises about Kraft finding it difficult to raise the money it needs for the 11 billion pound bid – of which some 4.1 billion pounds would be in cash — bankers seem to think there won’t be any problem getting lenders to make the necessary loans.

Stitz-up at Merrill Lynch?

-

Was it a gaffe or was the poor man misquoted? We certainly have two very different accounts of Todd Stitzer’s contribution to a closed conference at Merrill Lynch on 22 September. Maybe it would be better if these sort of briefings just didn’t take place.

According to a Merrill specialist salesman, who jotted down his remarks, Cadbury’s chief executive devoted his entire performance to sharing some thoughts about Kraft’s bid proposal. This was a pretty sensitive subject to pick but, hey, these were serious investors. So he allegedly indicated the possible exit price and the scale of the possible synergies from the deal. The salesman noted that:

Kraft will need to sweeten Cadbury offer

Photo
-

CADBURY/Kraft’s cash and stock offer for Cadbury may not have passed muster with the target’s board. But while this is not yet game over, it now looks likely that someone will make a snack of the British confectionery group.

Cadbury’s shares have basically tracked the FTSE for years — despite the efforts of Chief Executive Todd Stitzer to liven up the group’s performance, including demerging its U.S. soft drinks.

Chocolate-coated IPO to tempt Dubai investors?

Photo
-

Chocolate CamelsListings in Dubai have been few and far between — despite the best efforts of the emirate’s rulers to encourage foreign companies to float there.

There has only been one IPO completed on the Dubai Financial Market in the past 14 months and that was for construction contractor Drake & Scull in July last year.

  •