Mondelez International Inc, the maker of Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolates, said it was no longer pursuing the acquisition of Hershey Co. two months after the US chocolate company turned down its $23 billion cash-and-stock bid.
Hershey rejected a $107 per share acquisition offer from Mondelez at the end of June. Mondelez’s Chief Executive Officer Irene Rosenfeld approached Hershey Chief Executive John Bilbrey again last week, and indicated that Mondelez would be willing to offer up to $115 per share for Hershey, according to a source familiar with the discussions who asked not to be identified because they were confidential.
Hershey responded that the trust would not be able to consider an offer until it is reconstituted next year, the source said. Even then, Hershey would not be willing to enter into deal negotiations for an offer of less than $125 per share, the source added.
Hershey did not respond to a request for comment. Its shares fell 11.4 percent in after hours trading in New York on Monday to $99.00.
The Hershey trust holds 81 percent of the company’s voting stock, and so a sale is not possible without its approval. About two-thirds of its $12 billion in assets are in Hershey stock.