Ferrero Out? Cavity in Chocolate Merger... (CBY, KFT, HSY)

Cadbury plc (NYSE: CBY) may have just found out that it might need to be a bit more receptive to Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE: KFT) in the buyout process, if it even wants to get a buyout at ANY price.  A report from Italy’s La Stampa is reporting that Ferrero is out of the running for Cadbury.  This was noted as being out of it independently and out of a joint-bid with Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY).

The issue here is a developing one, and one that has not been confirmed nor denied by Ferrero.  This has also not been confirmed by Hershey nor by Kraft.  Cadbury is down 0.6% at $50.10 in US ADRs.

Hershey shares are up 2.7% at $37.18, in part because Hershey is far too small to get involved on its own as an acquirer.  The present offer from Kraft puts the deal at almost twice the size of Hershey today.

Kraft is up 0.7% at $29.01, and suddenly the stock is 4% short of its 52-week highs and it is now up 6.6% so far in 2010.  This might begin to make one wonder a scandalous thought for a moment.  Maybe Kraft never really wanted to pay up or really want Cadbury at all.  Maybe it just needed to signal that it had its own house in order and was able to look forward rather than fixing its woes of the past.


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