UK confectionery and drinks giant Cadbury Schweppes announced yesterday [Monday] that its open offer to acquire the outstanding 49% minority in Cadbury India, representing 17.5 million shares at a price of 500 Rupees per share, closed on Friday 22 February 2002.

At a price of 500 Rupees per share, the offer valued the minority at 8,749 million Rupees (£128m), making it the largest ever voluntary offer made in India's capital markets. Approximately 14 million shares were tendered in the open offer, taking Cadbury Schweppes' holding above 90% of the paid-up capital of Cadbury India. The final number will be confirmed after completion of documentary validation.

Commenting on the offer John Sunderland, CEO of Cadbury Schweppes, said: "We are delighted with the overwhelming response to the open offer. We would like to extend our thanks to all the shareholders who have tendered their shares.

India is a key market for the group and a important part of our growth strategy. This transaction not only provides opportunities for value creation through closer integration of our Cadbury India business within the Group, but is consistent with our aim of owning 100% of our significant businesses around the world."

Since Cadbury Schweppes' shareholding in Cadbury India now exceeds 90%, it will make another offer at the same price as the original offer within three months, in accordance with the SEBI Takeover Code. On completion of the second offer, Cadbury Schweppes will take the necessary steps to delist Cadbury India Ltd.