Edelman steps up Kraft role as Cadbury agrees takeover bid

Cadbury has agreed a takeover bid by Kraft after the US food giant substantially increased its bid for the confectionery firm.

Kraft takeover bid agreed: Cadbury
Kraft takeover bid agreed: Cadbury

Cadbury's board has accepted a new bid of £11.5bn ($18.9bn). after months of speculation over whether the deal would be approved.

The decision follows the news that Kraft had called in Edelman to provide strategic PR advice on a post-merger scenario (PRWeek, 15 January).

The agency has already started work on the account, providing 'preliminary strategic counsel', said Kraft VP of corporate affairs Nancy Daigler.

Brunswick currently handles the financial comms for Kraft's bid, but Edelman is expected to assume the core elements of its corporate and internal comms now that the bid has been accepted.

Cadbury and its agency Finsbury had fought a campaign to preserve its independence and has managed to raise the price paid per share from 761p to 840p. Cadbury had initially insisted it was committed to remaining independent and the public got behind the campaign with Facebook groups being set up that were against the takeover bid.

The deal raised concerns among the public that the ‘Britishness' of the 186-year-old Cadbury brand would be lost should the merger go ahead. However, Porter Novelli head of crisis Neil Bayley said of the deal: ‘I can't see Kraft making any major change that might risk damaging the value of the brand in the eyes of consumers. Consumers will be sceptical though, particularly here in Britain, and there will be plenty of Cadbury lovers looking to seize on any hint of change they don't like the look of, so this will need careful stewardship.'

3 Monkeys joint MD Christine Jewell added: 'Chocolate rules for the consumer, as long as Kraft does not tinker with its brand values. Most consumers will quickly forget the brand's ownership.'

The story has made the front page of The Times, the Daily Telegraph and The Guardian this morning.

A Cadbury spokesman declined to comment on the story.


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