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Nestlé has the cash but does it have the conviction?

Nestlé has today announced the sale of its stake in eye-care group Alcon for a reputed £17 billion, which has led to intense speculation that this will form the war-chest needed to enter the bidding for Cadbury. While Nestlé has so far been quiet on its plans for the future it is known that behind-the-scenes the company has already discussed a potential acquisition of Cadbury and is said to be awaiting the best time to pounce. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen but speculation about the future of Cadbury continues to intensify.

While £17 billion is obviously more than enough to acquire Cadbury, with the current Kraft Foods bid valued at around £10 billion, it is interesting to see the timing of the share sale by Nestlé. Has the group being in contact with Cadbury about a potential white knight bid? Has the group even discussed a potential takeover with the Cadbury board?

As you would expect with a lack of news flow in the financial markets over the New Year period even the most innocent of potential moves can often take on a life of their own. However, it should be back to normal this week and we should start to see the Cadbury saga firm up.

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