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The Cross-border Merger of Kraft and Cadbury - Term Paper Example

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The Cross-border Merger of Kraft and Cadbury

An overview of the Kraft –Cadbury merger In February 2010, Cadbury gave in to Kraft’s US$ 19.7 billion takeover after a fierce battle lasting over 100 days. Kraft Foods US is a major confectionary maker. The British chocolate maker had earlier in 2009, rejected a US$ 16.4 billion hostile takeover bid from Kraft, stating that the value did not represent the intrinsic value of the Cadbury brand. Industry experts believe that the combined group is the number one in chocolate and confectionary segments, as well as the second in the high growth gum segment (Ralph & Olesseni, p.61). Cadbury had agreed for 840 pence per share which would give them a total valuation of $19 billion. Media reported that Cadbury slipped into US giant Kraft Foods and the British Prime Minister committed that the jobs in UK could be protected. It was estimated that Cadbury employees numbered more than 45000 worldwide. It was expected, Kraft Cadbury combined would generate large cost savings, enabling Kraft to become a global market leader. The conglomeration would also generate annual sales of more than $ 50 billion. The market reaction was mixed especially from UK where the fear of job loss came up and cultural reaction was that the country’s honor namely Cadbury’s brand, had been given to US. Kraft Foods was one of the major US confectionery manufacturers with net revenue of $42 billion and operating in 150 countries as of 2008. It was founded 1903 as a cheese company by James L. Kraft (Funding Universe, 2002) and over the years established fine brands like Milka, Toblerone, Jacobs, Oscar Mayer and Oreo. Even though Kraft was able to capture US and European markets, it was the second largest food company in the world and Nestle, Switzerland continued to occupy the premier position with its brands firmly established not only in developed countries but also in developing countries. Nestle had reported a net profit of $9.55 billion with an annual turnover of $99 billion in 2009. Next in the race for second position was Cadbury, UK with its popular brands like Dairy Milk bars, Roses chocolates, Trident gum and Halls cough drops, built over 150 years not only in UK and developed countries but also firmly established its presence in the developing countries like India, Mexico and Brazil for over 50 years. Cadbury’s revenues in 2008 stood at ?5.4billion. Kraft Foods US with an ambition to reach the top slot in the global confectionery market made a bid for $10 billion to acquire a 100% stake in Cadbury at the end of 2009. The bid was rejected outright as the market value of the share was more than ? 7 per share and Kraft Foods had to reconsider the valuation process of Cadbury and made a revised offer of around $ 19.6 billion in early 2010 over which the shareholders of Cadbury numbering over 90% consented to the acquisition. Evolution and Growth of Kraft Foods Kraft Foods Inc., the second largest food company in the world, had brands spread over five consumer sectors – snacks, beverages, cheese, grocery and convenient meals. Kraft Foods had strong presence worldwide and operated in150 countries as of 2008. The company had evolved from a cheese company, started by James L. Kraft in 1903. James L. Kraft had started his cheese business to relieve the grocers from travelling daily to procure cheese. The merger of Kraft – Phenix and National Dairy Products Corporation in 1930 led to the further growth of Kraft. New brands such as Miracle Whip salad dressing, Velveeta pasteurized process cheese spread, were launched and turned to be successful. Innovative advertising strategy followed by Kraft was another driving force for Kraft’s success. The company was renamed as Kraft Foods Company in 1945 and during the post war period Kraft Foods continued with its new product launches and innovative advertising. In spite of various restructuring activities, Kraft General Foods’ financial results were not rosy. In early 1995, the three units, Kraft USA, General ...Show more


An overview of the Kraft –Cadbury merger In February 2010, Cadbury gave in to Kraft’s US$ 19.7 billion takeover after a fierce battle lasting over 100 days. Kraft Foods US is a major confectionary maker…
Author : gregorioolson
The Cross-border Merger of Kraft and Cadbury
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