Mondelez International apparently has made an offer to buy Hershey Co., according to a story in this morning's (June 30) Wall Street Journal.
Neither company is confirming the report, but Hershey stock was up 17 percent when we peeked at mid-morning, to $114 a share. The offer price was not reported.
It would be a blockbuster and largely complementary pairing of two of the world’s largest and best-known candy makers. Most of Hershey's sales and production is domestic; most of Mondelez's is overseas.
Mondelez got into the business when predecessor Kraft bought England's Cadbury PLC in 2010 for $19 billion. Irene Rosenfeld, current chairman and CEO of Mondelez, engineered that deal as chairman and CEO of Kraft. Mondelez and Kraft split in 2012, with Mondelez taking the snacks and candies.
The Journal estimated Hershey's market value at $21 billion Thursday morning and Mondelez's at $69 billion.
Although Hershey stock is public, any deal would need approval of the Hershey Trust, which holds 8.4 percent of the company’s common stock but 81 percent of its voting power, according to the Journal. And the trust has been opposed to selling the company in the past.
The Journal quoted unnamed sources as saying Mondelez promised to protect jobs, locate its global chocolate headquarters in Hershey, Pa., and rename the company Hershey.