We (the taxpayers) paid some of the $50 billion to bail General Motors out of its bankruptcy misery last year. Now, the former American industrial icon is going to launch one of the biggest U.S. IPOs of the decade.
Hershey is still working on a bid for Cadbury that would top Kraft’s 10.5 billion pound bid for the British confectioner. As the clock ticks down for rivals to enter the fray, Hershey — the one remaining party to declare its hand — has still not decided if it will table a formal offer, but has authorized the drawing up of a bid. At the same, Kraft has stepped up the charm offensive with Chief Executive Irene Rosenfeld visiting Cadbury shareholders in London. She has found some doors shut, however, indicating that investors find the bid too low.
The pursuit of Cadbury is rapidly becoming a one horse race after Italy’s Ferrero ruled itself out of the fight and cut off talks with potential bid partner Hershey, leaving only the U.S. chocolate maker to declare its hand in the battle for the British confectioner. Cadbury, meanwhile, yesterday put the finishing touches to its defence against U.S. food giant Kraft’s 10.5 billion pound hostile bid by promising an improved performance and a raised dividend.
Cadbury posts its final defence against Kraft’s hostile takeover, but a muted share price reaction shows it is not changing market views about the deal much. Ferrero, the Italian chocolate maker, is “very close” to taking a decision on whether to launch a counterbid together with U.S. group Hershey, a source close to the operation tells Reuters. Italy’s Il Messagero reported earlier Ferrero was securing a $4.5 billion syndicated loan.
(This is the first in a series of blogs that will come from Detroit this week during the North American International Auto Show and related events).
Good thing for Saab that shutting down a car business is a lengthy process. There are orders to fill, inventories to clear and various other contracts to conclude. Bidders for Saab know this, so even as the deadlines come and go, signs of life for a deal are going to have plenty of room to grow.
The Treasury, as major shareholder of such credit boom casualties as Citigroup and General Motors, showed with its $3.8 billion infusion into GMAC that it can still be counted on to safeguard the financial system from systemic collapse. The auto-loan company, which had dutifully spread its wings into mortgages in the housing boom, wound up becoming a bank to qualify for TARP bailout funds a year ago — the day after Christmas 2008, to be precise. How could Treasury say no?
Saab workers are probably reminding themselves it is always darkest just before the dawn, which takes a lot longer to arrive in the Scandinavian winter than anywhere else. With the lights set to start going out at Saab plants, word surfaced that parent General Motors’ Dec. 31 deadline for bids was being extended into early January.
It’s official. General Motors will wind down operations at its loss-making Swedish unit Saab after an attempt to sell it to small Dutch luxury carmaker Spyker Cars failed. Things were already looking dire for a deal weeks ago. GM said early in the month it would consider offers for Saab until the end of the month and move to close the Swedish unit then if it appeared that it couldn’t be sold. Given it couldn’t save Saturn or Pontiac, Saab’s prospects for a GM-engineered solution had been slim at best.