In its response document, published on Tuesday (12 January), Cadbury stressed that Kraft’s takeover offer “remains fundamentally unattractive” and said that it “believes that Cadbury’s standalone value has risen further” because 2009 performance was “well ahead of market expectations, driven by strong growth”.
Buoyed by this, Cadbury chief executive Todd Stitzer said: “Looking forward to 2010, we are targeting revenue growth within our 5-7% goal range, led by new product innovations across our categories and supported by incremental investment in marketing.”
Fred Burt, chairman of Siegel & Gale, says this would make independence the best outcome for Cadbury’s roster of agencies, which includes Fallon, Golley Slater Digital and PHD Media.
“The document is defending financial performance, rather than making any specific claims about brand strength or marketing,” he says. “But it does mention incremental investment in marketing.”
In the response document, the Cadbury board reasserts the company would be best served as an independent. The confectioner adds that the bid remains derisory.
Ferrero has reportedly taken out a £2.8bn loan to support a takeover bid, though no offers have yet been filed by the Italian confectioner or US firm Hershey. Kraft must publish its revised offer by 19 January.