The Cadbury board has rejected a formal bid from Kraft, launched just four hours ahead of the ‘put up or shut up’ deadline set by the Takeover Panel.

Under UK takeover rules, the US fmcg behemoth had until 17:00 GMT today to put in a bid or be excluded from making an approach for Cadbury for another six months. At 13:00 GMT today, Kraft put in a £9.8bn offer – the same as its original expression of interest in September.

The offer values Cadbury at 717p per share – 49p less than the current price. Cadbury’s board formally rejected the offer less than 40 minutes later.

Chairman Roger Carr again branded Kraft a “low-growth conglomerate” and said Cadbury would perform more strongly as an independent business.

"The repetition of a proposal which is now of less value and lower than the current Cadbury share price does not make it any more attractive,” he said.

“As a result, the board has emphatically rejected this derisory offer and has strengthened its resolve to ensure the true value of Cadbury is fully understood by all. I am confident that Cadbury will deliver significant value – which should accrue wholly to our shareholders."

Kraft said it intends to approach Cadbury shareholders directly over the coming weeks to win support for the bid.

Read more
Cadbury braced for new Kraft bid as takeover deadline looms (2 November 2009)
Cadbury’s results set to push up Kraft bid (24 October 2009)
The glass and a half is full, says Cadbury's Trevor Bond (12 September 2009)

Will Kraft be able to woo shareholders with this offer? Or is Carr right that the confectioner is stronger independent? Click 'Post a comment' to have your say.