Business – Kraft lender Barclays suspends coverage of Cadbury
LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays Capital, one of the banks providing $9.2 billion of loans to help fund Kraft Foods Inc’s hostile bid for Britain’s Cadbury Plc, has suspended coverage of Cadbury because of its role.
“Barclays Capital is acting as financial advisor to Kraft Foods in connection with a potential takeover offer for Cadbury Plc,” credit analysts at BarCap said in a note to clients, adding they had halted coverage of Cadbury because of the appointment.
The investment banking unit of Barclays Plc is aiming to become a top global full-service investment bank, broadening from a traditional debt focus after it took over Lehman Brothers’ U.S. operations.
A credit as financial adviser on Kraft-Cadbury would yield valuable kudos in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) league tables, but it was not clear how much strategic advice Kraft will seek from Barclays.
Previously named financial advisers to Kraft are Lazard, Citigroup, Centerview and Deutsche Bank.
This week Cadbury attempted to secure the loyalty of shareholders with the prospect of rival bids and promised bigger dividends and stronger growth as it reiterated its opposition to the 10 billion pound ($16.4 billion) takeover.
On November 9 Kraft said it had secured a $9.2 billion senior unsecured term loan, arranged by Citi, Deutsche, and HSBC. The other banks participating in the credit facility were BarCap, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, RBS and Societe Generale, Kraft said.
The exact nature of Barclays role as financial adviser was unclear. A Kraft spokesman said on Thursday that there had been no change in its relationship with Barclays since November 9 regarding Kraft’s hostile bid for Cadbury, which is now valued at $16.13 billion (9.98 billion pounds).
Barclays declined comment.
(Reporting by Quentin Webb; Additional reporting by Jessica Hall in Philadelphia and Bradley Dorfman in Chicago; Editing by David Holmes)
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