European Union regulators have approved Kraft Foods’ takeover bid for Cadbury, provided that the U.S.-based food major sell off the British confectioner’s Polish and Romanian chocolate businesses.
The European Commission, EU’s antitrust watchdog, gave the nod to Kraft’s proposed over 10-billion pound hostile takeover bid on Wednesday on the condition that the U.S. company divest Cadbury’s Polish and Romanian chocolate businesses if the deal takes place.
“The decision (to approve planned Kraft-Cadbury deal) is conditional upon the divestment of the Polish and Romanian chocolate confectionary businesses of Cadbury.
”... the Commission has concluded that the operation would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it,” the Commission said in a statement.
Kraft’s takeover offer has been rejected by a majority of shareholders of Cadbury. The management of the British firm has declined the bid, saying that it undervalues the company.
Separately, Cadbury on Thursday said it would publish documents in defence against Kraft’s hostile offer on January 12.
Another document with details of financial performance would be issued on January 14.
Interestingly, the European approval came amid media reports that Cadbury has discussed a rival offer, with American chocolate maker Hershey.
Attributing to people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal said Cadbury’s board members have discussed with Hershey directors a rival offer.