Hershey Co. Rejects $23 Billion Takeover Bid From Snack Giant Mondelez

Following a rise in shares on Thursday and after rumored talks of a merger between the companies, Hershey's board unanimously rejected the bid on Thursday.

Image by James Trosh via Flickr

Image by James Trosh via Flickr

Hershey Co.’s shares skyrocketed on Thursday, shooting up 15 percent to a record high of $111.87. News hit the market that the multinational snack conglomerate, Mondelez, made a $23 billion takeover bid.

But Hershey announced Thursday afternoon that its board unanimously rejected the takeover bid.

“The board of directors of the company unanimously rejected the indication of interest and determined that it provided no basis for further discussion between Mondelez and the company,” read the terse announcement.

Headquartered in Illinois, Mondelez, whose subsidiaries include a number of well-known brands like Cadbury, Oreo, Philadelphia cream cheese, Ritz, Nabisco and Trident gum, was prepared to court the Pennsylvania-based company. It made a pledge to protect jobs following a merger, relocate to Hershey, Pa., and even rename the company to Hershey, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Mondelez’s takeover bid for Hershey, which had a $21 billion market value on Thursday, could’ve been a blockbuster move bringing together the world’s second- (Mondelez) and fifth-largest (Hershey) confectionery makers together, the WSJ reports.

Hershey’s decision to reject the bid is in line with what’s happened before. The Hershey Trust, essentially Hershey Co.’s gatekeeper, controls 81 percent of the company’s voting power and 8.4 percent of the company’s common stock, CNBC reports, and has rarely been interested in selling out.

Hershey resisted a similar deal in the past including one from Wrigley in 2002. The Trust and local groups including students from the private Milton Hershey School, a beneficiary of the Hershey Trust, were not in favor.

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