Clifford Chance client Kraft wins backing for Cadbury deal

Guy Norman

Clifford Chance advised the US food conglomerate on the takeover, with a multi-jurisdictional team led by US corporate partner Sarah Jones and UK corporate partner Guy Norman working on the deal.

Kraft’s other advisers, on a variety of corporate, commercial and securitisation matters, included Arnold & Porter, Dewey & LeBoeuf and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.

Cravath Swaine & Moore was enlisted to assist on the financing of the takeover bid.

On the sale side, Slaughter and May won the mandate to provide UK advice for longstanding client Cadbury. The Slaughters team was led by corporate partners Steve Cooke and Tim Boxell.

Shearman & Sterling acted for the UK company on the US aspects of the deal, with corporate partner Creighton Condon heading the team. Other Cadbury advisers included Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Squire Sanders & Dempsey and Australian firm Freehills.

Cadbury shareholders will have until 2 February to approve the 850p per share offer after the board today gave its consent to the deal.

If shareholders reject the offer, the door could still be open for other bidders, with Hershey widely believed  to be the only viable candidate. It is understood that Linklaters and Sullivan & Cromwell have been working with the US confectioner on a possible counter offer.

The Kraft bid, which is a combination of cash and stock, puts the value of Cadbury at £11.5bn. An initial bid of 740p per share was described as “derisory” by the Cadbury board.