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January 22, 2010

US/UK: Hershey backs out of Cadbury race

US chocolate maker Hershey has - as was widely expected - ruled itself out of the running to buy UK rival Cadbury.

US chocolate maker Hershey has – as was widely expected – ruled itself out of the running to buy UK rival Cadbury.

In a short statement to the London Stock Exchange this afternoon (22 January), Hershey said it “does not intend” to make an offer for the Dairy Milk maker.

The UK’s Takeover Panel had given Hershey until Monday morning to either table an offer for Cadbury or walk away from the race.

Since Kraft Foods succeeded in securing Cadbury’s backing for an GBP11.5bn (US$18.51bn) takeover on Tuesday, industry watchers had argued it was unlikely that Hershey would be able to lodge a higher bid.

Hershey had first indicated an interest in Cadbury back in November and speculation had swirled that the business was considering either a solo bid or a joint offer alongside Ferrero.

Italian confectioner Ferrero, which also went public with its interest for Cadbury in November, has yet to officially rule itself out of the running but is understood to have decided not to bid for the business.

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