Kraft Foods remained tight-lipped today (7 September) over whether it would consider increasing its offer to Cadbury after its GBP10.2bn (US$16.76bn) takeover bid was rejected.

Irene Rosenfeld, Kraft chairman and CEO, said the company “feels good” about the proposal put forward and it looks forward to continuing the dialogue.

“We have put together a very attractive proposal, it provides good value and I believe more importantly that our proposal provides significantly more value to Cadbury shareholders than they can provide on a standalone basis, particularly given the consolidation in the global food industry.

“We think this gives certainty with the 300 pence cash proposal and a significant opportunity to participate in the upside of the benefits of the combined company.”

Rosenfeld told analysts the company had not yet begun negotiations with Cadbury shareholders and that it would wait for things to “settle down” before moving forward with a formal offer.

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“This proposal would require the approval of Cadbury shareholders and would also require approval by Kraft shareholders and we have not begun discussions yet, it is very much in the early stages. Given the compelling proposition I believe we have a very attractive story for shareholders of both companies and we believe the proposal merits serious consideration.”

Cadbury this morning hit back at Kraft Foods’ takeover bid and claimed the US food giant’s offer “fundamentally undervalues” the UK confectionery group.

Cadbury insisted it was confident in its ability to grow further as an independent company.

However, Rosenfeld said Kraft remained “optimistic” that in the weeks ahead, the value of its proposal will be realised.

“We feel quite good about this proposal and we are eager to move forward. We just need to let things settle down a bit.”

Rosenfeld told analysts the company sees opportunities in expanding distribution, in the ability to make further investments in marketing the equity of Cadbury’s “iconic” brands and in new product development.

The CEO also highlighted Cadbury’s global footprint as being “highly complementary” to Kraft Foods’ increasing scale in developing markets.

From a Kraft perspective, Rosenfeld said that Cadbury would give Kraft a “meaningful entry into India”, and it would “fundamentally transform” its business in Mexico.

Likewise, Kraft said its own business would substantially strengthen Cadbury’s presence in Brazil, Russia and China.