Cadbury chief executive softens his stance towards Kraft's takeover bid

City A.M. Reporter
CADBURY chief executive Todd Stitzer appeared to further soften his stance towards a tie-up with US rival Kraft yesterday when he said a deal would make &ldquo;strategic sense&rdquo;.<br /><br />Speaking at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference, Stitzer said his job &ldquo;is to get as much value as possible&rdquo;, marking a shift from his pledge to stay independent.<br /><br />According to a Merrill research note, Stitzer said Kraft would have to pay around 14.7 times Cadbury&rsquo;s earnings, or about 900p.<br /><br />That implies a bid of about &pound;12.3bn, far higher than the &pound;10.2bn or 745p a share indicative offer Kraft put to Cadbury&rsquo;s board three weeks ago.<br /><br />But later yesterday Cadbury put out a statement saying the Merrill note was an &ldquo;inaccurate reflection&rdquo; of Stitzer&rsquo;s comments, adding that the firm had not changed its position on Kraft&rsquo;s offer.<br /><br />Cadbury approached the Takeover Panel on Monday, asking it to issue a &ldquo;put up or shut up&rdquo; notice to Kraft that would force it to make a formal offer.