Cadbury has rejected a £10.2bn takeover bid from US food giant Kraft, it was revealed today.
In a statement the US company said it had made a proposal to the board of Cadbury to combine the two companies but the board had rejected its approach.
However, Kraft indicated it remains keen on a deal, saying it was “committed to working toward a recommended transaction and to maintaining a constructive dialogue” and had announced its proposal to “further that process”.
Kraft added that it wanted to build on Cadbury's brands and that a deal would create “a global powerhouse in snacks, confectionary and quick meals”.
As well as Daily Milk, Cadbury als owns the Green & Black's chocolate brand and Halls lozenges, Trident and Dentyne gum brands, and liquorice allsorts maker Bassett's.
One of the world’s largest food companies, Kraft's brands include Kenco coffee, Oreo biscuits, Terry's Chocolate Orange, as well as Philadelphia and Dairylea.
Kraft said that a successful purchase of Cadbury would protect UK jobs, including saving the chocolate maker’s Somerdale facility, which is planned for closure.
Irene Rosenfeld, chairman of Kraft Foods, said: “This proposed combination is about growth. We are eager to build upon Cadbury's iconic brands and strong British heritage through increased investment and innovation.
“Cadbury has built wonderful brands by focusing on quality, innovation and marketing, but we believe the next stage in Cadbury's development will be challenging, given the increased importance of scale in the industry.
“Cadbury's brands, which are highly complementary to our portfolio, would benefit from Kraft Foods' global scope and scale and array of proprietary technologies and processes.”
The Kraft chairman also said the companies’ combined global business network would create opportunities for talented Cadbury employees and managers.
“Our current plans contemplate that the UK would be a net beneficiary in terms of jobs.”
“We believe we would be in a position to continue to operate the Somerdale facility and to invest in Bournville, thereby preserving UK manufacturing jobs.”