- Mondelez announced Monday that it has ended discussions with Hershey about a potential takeover of the company.
- Hershey shares fell 9.8% in after-hours trading after the news broke.
- Recent shareholder changes at Hershey contributed to Mondelez's decision to abandon the pursuit, Mondelez chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld said in a news release.
M&A speculation about whether Mondelez and Hershey would combine to create a snacks and confectionery juggernaut comprised of the No. 2 and No. 6 chocolate companies in the world is officially over. The initial offer fell through quickly, due in part to complications regarding Hershey's voting power and the local ties to the trust it funds. But many experts had yet to give up that a takeover could still be on the table as Hershey's trust went through its own series of changes.
Rosenfeld said in a statement that the company was disappointed with the outcome of the Hershey discussions but they "(remain) disciplined in our approach to creating value, including through acquisitions, and confident that our advantaged platform positions us well for top-tier performance over the long term."
That assurance is critical at a time when Mondelez has made significant strides in cost-cutting, product development and market expansion. In the latest reported quarter, net revenues plunged 17.7%, though organic net revenue growth saw a 1.5% uptick.
Mondelez itself has been at the heart of takeover discussions at times as investors put pressure on the company to turn its performance around or sell itself. That narrative shifted when Mondelez put in its bid for Hershey. But now that that saga is over, such speculation could return or Mondelez could soon put in another offer for a different acquisition target.