Cadbury's owner Mondelez scraps takeover bid

Hershey's chocolate bars photo illustration Image copyright Getty Images

Snacks giant Mondelez International is abandoning its takeover bid for American confectioner Hershey after its $23bn (£18bn) offer was rejected.

The deal would have created the world's biggest maker of confectionery, but Hershey turned down the cash and stock offer in June.

Hershey shares tumbled by as much as 12% in late US trading on the news. Mondelez shares rose by almost 4%.

Mondelez brands include Cadbury chocolate and Trident chewing gum.

Its chief executive Irene Rosenfeld said the board was "disappointed with the outcome" but had decided there was "no actionable path forward toward an agreement".

"Our proposal to acquire Hershey reflected our conviction that combining our two iconic American companies would create an industry leader with global scale in snacking and confectionery and a strong portfolio of complementary brands," she said in a statement.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Cadbury's, which was started in 1824, became part of the Mondelez group in 2010

Trust issues

Hershey raked in nearly 90% of its revenue from North America last year, mostly from chocolate sales.

The Pennsylvania-based company had reportedly looked for at least $125 per share before agreeing to any takeover talks. Mondelez had initially offered $107 per share.

Complicating matters further is Hershey's company structure.

The maker of Reese's peanut butter cups is majority-controlled by the Hershey Trust, a charity which has prevented previous sales of the company.

The Hershey Trust is revamping its board and management rules after coming under scrutiny for its spending practices.

The changes at Hershey don't come into effect until next year and its shareholders are said to have been averse to any transactions before then.

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