Kraft Goes Cookie Shopping in France

American snack giant bids $7.2B for Danone's biscuit division
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2007 6:51 PM CDT
Kraft Goes Cookie Shopping in France
Danone Chief Executive Franck Riboud, left, shakes hands with to Kraft Food chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld during a press conference in Paris, Tuesday July 3, 2007. Kraft Foods Inc. announced that it has offered Euro 5.3 billion (US$ 7.2 billion) in cash to acquire the biscuit division of French food...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Kraft moved to elevate its international profile today with a $7.2 billion for Danone's biscuit division, setting up a deal that would make the Oreo manufacturer Europe's largest cookie maker. The polyglot alliance of Ritz crackers and Petit Ecolier biscuits faces numerous obstacles, the Times of London reports, including a likely EU investigation and possible French government and labor resistance.

Danone's unions are on record calling for the company to "stay French." Shares jumped to a four-month high on speculation that the company will be free to invest in its dairy and mineral-water products, Bloomberg reports. If the acquisition goes through, it would give Kraft a presence in Russia for the first time and double its sales in China. (Read more food stories.)

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