Nestle SA is the world’s largest food company; its acquisition of Rowntree Plc in 1988 was, at L 2.5 billion, the largest-ever foreign takeover of a British company. The case is the first in a three-part case series positioned before, during, and after the acquisition of Rowntree by Nestle, and gives an ‘inside look’ at a major international acquisition. The (A) case includes a note on the world chocolate industry, and ends at the point when Nestle must decide whether to launch a hostile bid for Rowntree. The case is written from Nestle’s point of view, and provides the opportunity to consider the benefit of various acquisition possibilities in the industry. The case also raises questions as to why Rowntree became a takeover target, and as to Nestle’s policy of not making hostile takeovers.
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