Ferrero family divisions threaten to melt the deal

DIVISIONS in the Ferrero family could mean that the Italian chocolatier does not end up launching a joint bid&nbsp; for Cadbury with its USrival Hershey. <br /><br />The head of the family-owned company Michele Ferrero &ndash; who took control of the firm from his father and uncle in the 1950s &ndash; is said to dislike leveraged deals. <br /><br />Nor is he keen to grow the firm through acquisitions, preferring the more organic strategy which has served him well in recent decades.<br /><br />But his two sons, Pietro and Giovanni, who are co-chief executives at Ferrero, are said to be more open to a deal as their chance to make it big.<br /><br />Nomura analyst Alex Smith said of the pair:&nbsp; &ldquo;Being left on the sidelines with consolidation taking place around them is unlikely to be an attractive proposition.&rdquo;<br /><br />Smith added that the Ferrero family would have to consider whether it would be prepared to massively dilute its control in the firm as part of any joint bid with Hershey. And for a partly equity-based deal to succeed, Cadbury shareholders would have to be comfortable taking shares in an entity with a large family holding.<br /><br />The biggest advantage of a deal for Ferrero would be immediate access to a leading position in the UK and emerging markets. Analysts are deeply sceptical about whether Ferrero could go it alone &ndash; the firm is much smaller than Cadbury, which means it would require a partner.