Cadbury chief executive Todd Stitzer has insisted that the UK confectioner’s investors “seem unimpressed” with Kraft Foods’ hostile bid after he visited shareholders on both sides of the Atlantic last week.
Stitzer, who launched Cadbury’s formal defence to Kraft’s GBP10bn (US$16.08bn) bid last week in London, was in New York later in the week, addressing the Dairy Milk maker’s US investors.
In an interview with Reuters, Stitzer said it appeared Cadbury’s investors believed that the company’s value as an independent business was higher than Kraft’s bid – which the Cadbury board has already labelled “derisory”.
Stitzer told Reuters that, since Cadbury issued its defence document last Monday, “it appears that the stand-alone value of the company has risen in the eyes of shareholders”.
Cadbury’s defence centred on moves to raise its sales, margins and dividend, with new, higher targets now set out for between 2010 and 2013.
“They seem to be unimpressed by the current level of the Kraft offer as compared to our stand-alone value,” Stitzer added in the interview.
When contacted by just-food today (21 December), Cadbury declined to comment.