Don't let Kraft steal Cadbury, shareholders urged

Dairy Milk firm Cadbury set out its case for independence today as it urged shareholders not to let US giant Kraft "steal your company".

The chocolate company's latest response to Kraft was contained in a new defence document setting out details of Cadbury's "outstanding" trading in 2009 and forecasting sales growth of up to 7 per cent this year.

Shareholders have until 2 February to accept Kraft's takeover offer, which values the the UK firm at around £10.5 billion.

Cadbury chairman Roger Carr said Kraft's proposal was "even more unattractive" than it was when it made its formal offer in December.

He added: "Our 2009 performance is ahead of our previously upgraded expectations and we have excellent momentum going into 2010."

Mr Carr added that Kraft's offer price was significantly below comparable transactions in the sector and said the shares element of the proposal exposed shareholders to the US firm's "low growth" business model.

"Don't let Kraft steal your company with its derisory offer," he told shareholders.



Cadbury's last defence document saw it raise long-term performance targets and issue higher profit margins guidance.

Chief executive Todd Stitzer said today that the company's value as a stand-alone company had been boosted by its performance over the second half of the year, with revenues up 6 per cent in the period and by 5 per cent over the whole of 2009.

He said: "Our performance in 2009 was outstanding. We generated good revenue growth despite the weakest economic conditions in 80 years."

The company added that it expected growth of 10% in its full-year dividend payment to shareholders.

Looking ahead, Mr Stitzer said the company was targeting revenue growth of between 5 per cent and 7 per cent in 2010, driven by new products and marketing investment.

Kraft has until next Tuesday to decide whether to raise its bid - currently at 763p a share - with an offer of more than 800p thought to have more of a chance of enticing Cadbury shareholders.

But the Dairylea and Toblerone firm would need the support of Warren Buffett, whose Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway investment vehicle owns almost 10 per cent of Kraft, to up its offer.

Mr Buffett has already warned Kraft not to overpay for Cadbury and last week said shareholders should not be asked to write a "blank cheque" by issuing 370 million new Kraft shares to finance the bid.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Adviser - OTE £30,000

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy