Chocolate maker Hershey has rejected a takeover bid of $23 billion, asserting its interest in remaining independent. The New York Times reports that the takeover bid from fellow chocolate giant Mondelez International poses one of Hershey’s “biggest challenges yet.”
The Mondelez product line includes Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolates, the report notes.
“Hershey is betting that it can stay on its own, or at least fetch a substantially higher price,” The Times notes. “But flatly rejecting Mondelez’s offer will be a major test of Hershey’s historically impregnable defense: the charitable trust that effectively wields control.”
The report adds that the Mondelez offer, which was made June 23, “raised questions about whether other food companies will seek to make their own run at Hershey — or whether Mondelez itself may be put into play. After the activist investor William A. Ackman took a big stake in Mondelez nearly a year ago, speculation emerged that he would push for a sale, possibly to Kraft Heinz.”