Blog: Dean BestSnow? Too busy talking about Kradbury

Dean Best | 6 January 2010

In between discussing the burning issues of the day here at just-food Towers – such as how many hours can Sky News really devote to the fact that it's snowing outside? Or, how many grit processing plants one reporter can visit in 24 hours? (Has a nation ever been more gripped by rock salt than ours is?). We do, every so often, turn our idle chat to matters of the food business.

It was refreshing then to overhear this morning the great minds of just-food lay reputations on the line and take a stab at guessing the outcome of what will surely be the biggest story in the food industry this quarter, the battle for Cadbury.

Now, its dangerous stuff airing private thoughts like these – reputations are on the line after all. However, it's a new year and time for new challenges and all that. So I thought I'd raise the bar for our editorial staff a little and publish a transcript of the conversation for you to see and ultimately pass judgement on, now or with hindsight, it's your call. Do let us know your thoughts.

just-food deputy editor: Cadbury shares have dropped to within about 1% of kraft's offer!

just-food editor: Expect more bullish comment from Cadbury in that case. Especially when they issue a trading update on 15th!

Dep ed: Kraft's up nearly 5% - FT called Buffett's statement a "blatant attempt to talk up kraft share price" or some such - and didn't it just work! It does make you wonder if his 'opposition' really does come as such a blow.

Ed: I still think Kraft will need to up their offer - did you see they announced today that only 1% of Cadbury shares had been tendered in favour? And, the question becomes, will Buffett back a higher bid?

Dep ed: But did they ever actually expect not to increase their offer? I'm sure they have planned for that eventuality. It'll be interesting to see what Cadbury come back with. I just wonder the kind of wrangling that goes on behind closed doors - ah, to be a fly on the wall .

Ed: Maybe they did expect to have to increase it - but they are having to resort to measures like the share issue and the pizza sale to fund a higher offer - and neither of those are sure to help Kraft win out. I don't know, I just err in favour of Cadbury staying independent ... at the moment!

Dep ed: Yep, I could see that happening.

Chris Brook-Carter, publishing director


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