Mondelez International Inc, the maker of Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolates, has made a takeover bid for chocolate and sugar confectionery company Hershey Co, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
A merger of two of the world’s top five candy makers would make Mondelez the world’s largest confectioner, leapfrogging Mars Inc, which has 13.3 percent of the global market, according to data firm Euromonitor International Ltd.
Hershey received Mondelez’s preliminary offer this week and has yet to respond, the source said. Mondelez plans to keep the Hershey name and preserve jobs as well as help the company expand internationally, the person added.
Hershey did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
CNBC reported that Mondelez’s bid was for $107 per share, with half in cash and half in stock. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the offer.
Hershey shares jumped 15 percent to $112, giving the company a market capitalization of about $24 billion, while Mondelez rose 1.2 percent to $43.50.
The Hershey’s kisses maker is controlled by the Hershey trust, which has about 80 percent of its voting rights.
Analysts have been skeptical of takeover bids for Hershey in the past.
“The Trust … is outwardly very committed to keeping the company independent,” Bernstein analyst Alexia Howard had said in June last year. “So it’s pretty much impossible for an activist to get involved or for the company to be bought.”