Mondelēz Makes $23B Takeover Offer to Hershey

HERSHEY, Pa. — The Hershey Co. has acknowledged receiving a takeover bid from Mondelēz International Inc. However, the famous chocolate maker has rejected the preliminary non-binding bid.

According to the Hershey, Pa.-based company, the offer was for a mix of cash and stock consideration, totaling $107 a share of Hershey common stock. The indication of interest also included other non-monetary considerations.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the play Thursday morning, put the price tag at roughly $23 billion.

Hershey's board of directors, after receiving input from the company's management and its outside financial and legal advisors, carefully evaluated the indication of interest. Following the review, the board "unanimously rejected the indication of interest and determined that it provided no basis for further discussion between Mondelēz and the company," Hershey said in a release.

"The company's board of directors and management team are committed to enhancing value for all stockholders in accordance with the company's strategic plan," it added.

Hershey shares surged 15 percent to $111.87 upon the news Thursday. Before the WSJ report, Hershey had a $21-billion market value and Mondelēz had a $69-billion market value.

The Hershey Trust, which holds 8.4 percent of the company's common stock and 81 percent of its voting power, would have to approve any deal. The Trust has been opposed to selling the company in the past, according to the news outlet.

Mondelēz is pledging to protect jobs following a merger of the companies, locate its global chocolate headquarters in Hershey, Pa., and rename the company Hershey, according to one of the people.

Deerfield, Ill.-based Mondelēz is a global snacking powerhouse, with billion-dollar brands, such as Oreo, LU and Nabisco biscuits; Cadbury, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milk chocolate; and Trident gum. 

Hershey is a global confectionery leader with more than 80 brands around the world, including such iconic brand names as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers and Brookside. 

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