Cadbury Says Kraft Deal Doesn't Make Sense

LONDON (AP) -- Candy maker Cadbury PLC said Friday that the $16.7 billion takeover offer from Kraft Foods Inc. does not make "strategic or financial sense," rejecting media reports that its CEO had said otherwise.

Cadbury chief Todd Stitzer had been reported this week to have told investors behind closed doors that the deal made strategic sense, potentially undermining his company's effort to rebuff the U.S. food conglomerate's cash-and-stock bid.

"Commentary on this issue has misconstrued Mr. Stitzer's remarks to imply a softening of his view regarding a combination between Kraft and Cadbury," the company said in a statement released Friday.

"Mr. Stitzer does not believe that Kraft's proposal makes strategic or financial sense for Cadbury and his comments should not be interpreted in any other way," it said.

Cadbury said its position remained unchanged from Sept. 12, when it said that Kraft's offer undervalued the company.

Since then, American billionaire Warren Buffett, who is also Kraft's largest shareholder, has described the offer as adequate.

Northfield, Illinois-based Kraft makes cheese, Maxwell House coffee and Oscar Mayer meats, and has chocolate businesses in Europe. Cadbury brands include candy, Dentyne gum and Hall's cough drops.

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