Cadbury halts speculation over takeover stance

Author: By James Moore

In a statement to the stock exchange the chocolate maker said: ?For the
avoidance of doubt Mr Stitzer does not believe that Kraft?s proposal makes
strategic or financial sense for Cadbury and his comments should not be
interpreted in any other way.

?Cadbury?s position in relation to Kraft?s proposal remains precisely as set
out in the letter to Kraft issued on 12 September.?

The statement was issued after discussions with the Takeover Panel. It follows
remarks made by Mr Stitzer in an interview with the Wall Street Journal at
the beginning of the week when he said he saw some strategic sense in a
combination of the two businesses.

The company has stressed he was speaking from an investor perspective and that
the comments had been taken out of context.

The pot was further stirred following after Mr Stitzer talked to investors at
Bank of America/Merrill Lynch conference on Wednesday. He was cited in a
research note distributed by the bank looking at the strategic sense of a
deal and potential valuations for Cadbury.

The bank subsequently clarified the note, saying Mr Stitzer?s comments on
valuation were only made in the context of comparable transactions in the
industry and did not imply a fair value for Cadbury.

Kraft launched a cash and share proposal for Cadbury on 7 September, going
public in an attempt to keep the cholatier talking about a deal, which was
worth £10.2 billion although Kraft?s share price has subsequently fallen.

Cadbury has dismissed the proposal and asked the Takeover Panel to issue a
?put up or shut up? deadline on Kraft that will force the US group to either
table a hostile takeover bid or walk away.

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