Berkshire says no to Kraft issuing shares for Cadbury deal
Billionaire Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway, a major shareholder in Kraft Foods, today said it has voted against the company issuing up to 370 million shares to facilitate the proposed buyout of Cadbury.business Updated: Jan 05, 2010 21:40 IST
Billionaire Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway, a major shareholder in Kraft Foods, on Tuesday said it has voted against the company issuing up to 370 million shares to facilitate the proposed buyout of Cadbury.
The news comes on the same day when Kraft raised the cash component of its over 10-billion pounds hostile takeover bid for the British confectionery maker.
In a statement, Berkshire said it has voted "no" on Kraft's proposal to authorise the issuance of up to 370 million shares to facilitate Cadbury acquisition.
The Buffett-led conglomerate pointed out that the share-issuance proposal, if enacted, would give Kraft "a blank check allowing it to change its offer to Cadbury..."
"And we worry very much that, indeed, there will be an additional change from the revision announced this morning," the Buffett-led entity noted.
Kraft has offered more cash for the Cadbury takeover, after the US entity sold its North American pizza business for $3.7 billion.
The statement said that taking into account its own holdings and those of its pension funds, the firm believes that the "138,272,500 Kraft shares it owns – 9.4 per cent of the total outstanding – make it company's (Kraft) largest shareholder".
Berkshire also described the Kraft stock, at its current price of $27, as a very expensive "currency" to be used in an acquisition.