GLOBAL snack giant Mondel?z has abandoned its takeover attempt of US confectionery maker Hershey.
Mondel?z, whose brands include Cadbury, Nabisco and Lu, offered US$23bn to acquire Hershey at the end of June, but the offer was rejected by the Hershey board, which said it “provided no basis for further discussion”. Hershey already has the distribution rights to Cadbury products in the US. According to media reports, Mondel?z chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld met with Hershey CEO John Bilbrey and offered to raise its initial US$107/share bid to US$115/share, but the company was unwilling to consider anything below US$125/share.
The Hershey Trust, a charitable foundation which owns 81% of Hershey’s voting rights, is currently undergoing reform after an investigation by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office into its governance and expenses. This is also thought to have influenced Mondel?z into making the decision to back away.
'Our proposal to acquire Hershey reflected our conviction that combining our two iconic American companies would create an industry leader with global scale in snacking and confectionery and a strong portfolio of complementary brands. Following additional discussions, and taking into account recent shareholder developments at Hershey, we determined that there is no actionable path forward toward an agreement,” said Rosenfeld.
She added that the company was “disappointed”, but would remain focussed on its growth targets.
Hershey has not commented publicly on the matter.
Catch up on the latest news, views and jobs from The Chemical Engineer. Below are the four latest issues. View a wider selection of the archive from within the Magazine section of this site.