Blog: Dean BestNestle windfall stokes Cadbury talk

Dean Best | 4 January 2010

With the post-Christmas gloom affecting many, some industry watchers are hunting for excitement - and some see Nestle's cash windfall from its Alcon deal as a sign that the Kit Kat maker could make a move on Cadbury.

Nestle has long been linked to the UK confectioner but most serious pundits have only placed the Swiss food giant as a possible - and far from probable - part of a joint bid for the Dairy Milk maker.

Today (4 January), however, some commentators in the UK have seen the sale of Nestle's Alcon stake as a sure sign that the company will join the pursuit of Cadbury in some form.

Cadbury's shares closed up 0.9% at 805p - the stock had risen to 807p earlier in the day - although, in truth, the increase could have been more due to chatter that Kraft Foods could raise its bid rather than speculation over Nestle.

Some movement from Kraft is expected in the coming days. According to Kraft's 4 December approach, Cadbury shareholders have until 1pm tomorrow to tender their shares.

If the Kraft offer is not accepted, the US food giant then has until 19 January to improve its offer, according to a deadline set by the UK's Takeover Panel.

As for Nestle, a joint sortie with Hershey is possible, but the company has plans to buy back shares and is likely to use the long-awaited Alcon windfall to improve its balance sheet.


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