Kraft Foods chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld has reportedly criticised her counterpart at Cadbury for his defence of the UK confectioner’s growth prospects as an independent company.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Rosenfeld accused Cadbury CEO Todd Stitzer of failing to “do the math quite accurately” when he rejected Kraft’s initial, proposed offer and talked up the outlook for the Dairy Milk maker.
The report was the latest twist in a takeover saga that first started three weeks ago when Kraft announced its unsolicited proposed GBP10.2bn (US$16.2bn) offer for Cadbury, which rejected the US food group’s approach.
Rosenfeld hit back and claimed Cadbury’s prospects were “constrained” and maintained the company would “benefit from being part of a “global powerhouse in snacks, confectionery and quick meals”.
Stitzer subsequently insisted Cadbury would prosper independently, while Roger Carr, the group’s chairman, wrote to Rosenfeld to say that a sale to Kraft was “an unappealing prospect”.
Last week, in what some saw as a defence of Cadbury’s Quaker origins and a veiled criticism of Kraft, Stitzer used a Fairtrade conference to hit out at “unbridled capitalism”.
Over the weekend, reports in the UK suggested that Kraft was set to launch a hostile bid worth GBP11bn for Cadbury.
A Kraft spokesperson in New York declined to comment when contacted by just-food. Officials at Cadbury could not be reached for immediate comment.