Cadbury Plc starts trading, upbeat about future

By Linda Rano

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cadbury, Dr pepper snapple group, Stock market

Cadbury Plc started trading today as a standalone confectionery
company and said it was optimistic for the future.

The de-merger of Cadbury Schweppes Plc's Americas beverages business is expected to be completed on 7 May when Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG) starts trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Todd Stitzer, chief executive, said that the past few years had seen a transformation in the group's performance and that "as a focused confectionery company we will be able to do better still​". He continued: "Our superior geographic and category reach offers excellent organic growth opportunities and we have the strategy to capture them. We are absolutely focused on delivering superior performance​." The company confirmed that the new Cadbury business has revenues of over £5 billion and underlying profit from operations of around £500 million. Cadbury Plc is a leader in the confectionery market, and will become number 2 globally and number 1 outside the US when the Mars acquisition of Wrigley is completed. Cadbury brands include chocolate such as Flake and Crème Egg; chewing gum such as Trident and Hollywood; and candy such as Cadbury Eclairs and Bassets. Scheme of arrangement ​ Cadbury has said that Cadbury Schweppes ordinary shares will be cancelled and Cadbury Schweppes will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cadbury Plc. Cadbury shareholders will receive, for every 100 Cadbury Schweppes shares held, 64 ordinary shares in Cadbury and 36 Cadbury beverage shares, which become 12 in Dr Pepper. A total of 1,352,990,574 Cadbury ordinary 500p shares will be issued today and start trading on the London Stock Exchange's main market for listed securities. Trading updateReuters​ reported earlier today that shares in Cadbury Plc fell early on its first day of trading, opening at 622 pence off Thursday's close of 640 pence, although pared its losses later. Uncertain prospects for the company's drink arm, which starts trading as Dr Pepper Snapple Group on Wednesday, made Cadbury shares look overvalued, said Reuters. Earlier this year the company said that American Beverages (DPSG) expects to report first quarter revenue growth of 3 per cent in early June Market Analysts​ Towards the end of April market analysts Lehman Brothers predicted that with the de-merger Cadbury may be ripe for takeover, according to the Telegraph​ newspaper. "We believe Cadbury is the most strategically advantaged confectionery major and therefore the most attractive takeout/merger target​", said Lehman brothers in a credit note. With regard to the Mars-Wrigley merger Reuters said it was likely to prompt Cadbury into re-starting talks with Hersey Co. An Investec Securities analyst was quoted as saying: "Cadbury will have to look at its options and the most obvious is to re-open talks with Hershey over a merger​."

Related topics: Manufacturers, Mondeléz International

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