In a CNBC interview this morning prior to the special meeting of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Warren Buffett comments on a number of topics including the Obama Administration’s proposed bank tax. Mr. Buffett does not believe that banks are making “obscene profits” and companies that have already repaid TARP funds should not be forced to effectively pay for bailouts at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Read this article for more details and to view the video.
The Financial Times reports that Hershey is getting closer to finalizing the terms of a counter-bid to Kraft’s hostile £10.4 billion bid for Cadbury. The war of words between Kraft and Cadbury has escalated in recent days as Cadbury’s management ratchets up the rhetoric regarding Kraft’s “conglomerate” model being an unattractive fit for Cadbury. Warren Buffett’s recent comments regarding Kraft seeking a “blank check” for the purchase only dimmed prospects for the acquisition even further. Read this article for more details.
In a press release issued by Berkshire Hathaway this morning, Kraft management is criticized for seeking a “blank check” which will allow the company to issue up to 370 million shares in order to facilitate an offer for Cadbury. The press release refers to Kraft’s proxy statement for a special meeting set for February 1 seeking approval for issuance of up to 370 million shares. Read this article for more details.
The drama associated with Kraft’s hostile takeover bid for Cadbury has been widely reported in recent weeks. With Kraft’s decision earlier this week to make a formal bid that did not sweeten the terms of the original offer, it appears that we are in for several months of high stakes wrangling before Cadbury shareholders make a final decision. Read this article for thoughts on what the deal implies for the value of Cadbury’s economic moat.