Keep Cadbury independent, says its chief

CADBURY chief executive Todd Stitzer yesterday said the Dairy Milk maker should remain independent, as he put his case to a group of shareholders and industry analysts.<br /><br />Stitzer attempted to win shareholder support, stressing that Cadbury was on the hunt for acquisitions and not just the bid target of Kraft&rsquo;s &pound;10.2bn takeover approach.<br /><br />Stitzer said his desire was &ldquo;to turn the world purple&rdquo;, Cadbury&rsquo;s signature colour, adding &ldquo;our priorities here focus on finding good quality bolt-on acquisitions&rdquo;. <br /><br />He said: &ldquo;It should not come as a surprise to you when I say that we have a list of potential targets which we would work towards acquiring.&rdquo;<br /><br />Stitzer also said the group would achieve higher profitability in 2011.<br /><br />One analyst said: &ldquo;He was talking to the audience, but he was also talking directly to Kraft &ndash; showing we&rsquo;ve got a pretty good business as it is, and a better track record.&rdquo;<br /><br />But other analysts were disappointed that there were no new arguments for why Cadbury should remain independent.<br /><br />Industry observers believe that Kraft&rsquo;s 745p a share&nbsp; offer&nbsp; significantly undervalues the group.<br /><br />Billionaire US investor Warren Buffet, whose Berkshire Hathaway firm is Kraft&rsquo;s largest shareholder, yesterday agreed the offer was too low, saying&nbsp; Kraft would have &ldquo;to do a lot of things right to justify the price&rdquo;.<br /><br />Execution analyst Martin Dolan added: &ldquo;It is now Cadbury&rsquo;s task to ensure shareholders get maximum return on synergies as the chances are that Cadbury will be bought&rdquo;.<br /><br /><strong>FAST FACTS </strong> CADBURY<br />&9679; Cadbury makes Dairy Milk, Trident gum and luxury chocolate brand Green and Black&rsquo;s<br />&9679; Last week USconsumer goods giant Kraft made a &pound;10.2bn offer for Cadbury, which was immediately rejected<br />