UPDATE: Hershey's rejects Mondelez International takeover bid

Francesca Washtell
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Citing Rising Cost Of Ingredients, Hershey's Raises Prices 8 Percent
Hershey is one of the world's largest chocolate makers (Source: Getty)

Chocolate manufacturer Hershey's has today rejected a takeover bid from Mondelez International.

In a brief statement, the chocolate maker didn't sugarcoat the fact that the board, after getting input from the company's management and outside financial and legal advisers, had decided to unanimously rejected the offer.

Hershey's also said that it would not be discussing the matter further with Mondelez at this point.

The initial announcement of the offer caused Hershey's, which counts Reese's and Kisses among its brands, share price to hit the sweet spot this afternoon, spiking up 21 per cent at one point.

Shares reached an all-time high of $117.79 after the Wall Street Journal reported Mondelez had submitted a bid.

Read more: Mondelez International share price drops as currency issues eat into snack group's sales

Mondelez had pledged to protect jobs following the merger, as well as locating its global headquarters in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and to rename the company Hershey, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Jack Skelly, food analyst at Euromonitor International, said of the almost deal: "The news that Hershey is the subject of a bid from Mondelez has certainly captured the imagination of those in the food industry.

"Yet rumours of an acquisition of Hershey have persisted for some time, suggesting the part-public, part trust-owned business has been seriously considering selling.

"From a geographic perspective, the move makes sense. Mondelez has achieved its position as the second largest confectionery manufacturer in the world without any sizeable presence in the US – the world’s largest chocolate confectioner market. Hershey sales are unlikely to cannibalise those of Mondelez’s elsewhere, with roughly 85 per cent of its sales achieved in North America.

"This is a highly ambitious move by Mondelez given the symbolic status of the Hershey brand in the US," Skelly added.

Neither Hershey nor Mondelez International were immediately available for comment.

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