American confectionery major Kraft Foods on Friday said it had received “valid acceptances” from 75 per cent of Cadbury shareholders to the 11.9-billion-pound takeover deal and had started the move to delist the British chocolate maker by March 8.

As on February 4, Kraft Foods received valid acceptances in respect of 103.87 crore Cadbury shares (including those represented by Cadbury ADSs), amounting to around 75.41 per cent of the existing issued share capital of Cadbury, Kraft Foods said in a statement. The 20 business days’ notice period for the cancellation of the listing of Cadbury shares and the trading on the London Stock Exchange for listed securities has commenced.

Cadbury also intends to apply for the delisting of Cadbury ADSs from the NYSE, the statement added.

“It is anticipated that cancellation of listing and trading will take effect no earlier than on March 8, 2010,” Kraft said, adding that after Cadbury shares are delisted, Cadbury would be re-registered as a private company.

Regarding the acceptance of the offer, Kraft Foods said the final offer remains open until further notice and at least 14 days’ notice will be given if Kraft Foods decides to close the final offer.

“Cadbury Security holders who have not yet accepted, and wish to accept, the offer should take action to accept the offer as soon as possible,” Kraft Foods said.

Provided Kraft Foods gets 90 per cent acceptance from Cadbury shareholders, the American company intends “to acquire compulsorily any outstanding Cadbury shares (including any Cadbury shares represented by Cadbury ADSs) pursuant to the provisions of the 2006 Act.”

On January 19, the Cadbury board had ‘unanimously’ recommended the revised offer worth about 11.9 billion pounds to its shareholders.

Once the Cadbury-Kraft merger is over, the combined group will have dominant presence in markets across the world including India, and would have over 40 confectionery brands with each of them having annual sales in excess of $100 million.

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