US: Kraft will deliver "with or without" Cadbury
Kraft Foods has raised its guidance for 2009 and said it will deliver "top-tier" performance "with or without" Cadbury.
The US food giant yesterday (12 January) shrugged off Cadbury's final defence against its hostile takeover bid as "underwhelming" after the UK confectioner urged shareholders not to let the US food group "steal" the company.
In its second response document following the offer tabled by Kraft on 4 December. Cadbury once again rebuffed Kraft's "wholly inadequate offer" and recommended that shareholders take no action on the offer.
Kraft, however, has now raised its guidance for 2009 diluted earnings per share to at least US$2.00 versus the previous expectation of at least $1.97.
The increase, Kraft said, reflects "strong operating gains" as well as a "significant increase" in marketing investments versus the prior year.
"As we complete our turnaround, we're delivering high-quality earnings growth, despite the difficult economic environment," said Kraft Foods' chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld. "And we're doing this while continuing to invest in our brands and businesses. As a result, we're well positioned to deliver sustainable top-tier performance, with or without Cadbury."
Analysts have maintained that Kraft will need to raise its offer for any hope of success.
The maker of Milka chocolate and Terry's Chocolate Orange, has until 19 January to raise its cash-and-shares bid that currently values Cadbury at 760p per share.
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