Time for Kraftiness

September 30, 2009

It’s official. Kraft has until Nov. 9 to say whether it will make an offer for Cadbury. If it doesn’t, it had to back off for six months. In the three weeks since Cadbury turned up its nose at Kraft’s $16.3 billion cash-and-share offer. In that time, price talk has centered on how much Kraft will, or is able, to raise that bid by.

Rhys Jones reports that analysts see compelling logic to a potential deal adding Cadbury’s high-growth emerging market business to Kraft’s wide-ranging distribution system, with few overlaps that would prompt competition concerns.

Cadbury reiterated its rejection of Kraft’s approach, but with other potential suitors so far mum, chief executive Todd Stitzer may have to settle for whatever Kraft comes up with. The market has taken the stock up to 800 pence, about 7 percent above the offer price for the share component. And if Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld (pictured above) wants to keep her own shareholders – including Warren Buffett – happy, she will be sure to contain any impulse to aggressively sweeten the deal.

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