The three-month international auction for Nabisco has been won by Philip Morris, the Marlboro cigarettes-to-Kraft Foods multinational conglomerate. The $14.9bn cash deal, conducted via PM subsidiary R J Reynolds, makes PM the world’s second largest food company after Switzerland’s Nestlé and global numero uno in terms of profitability.

At this juncture, it is not known if Nabisco's chairman and chief executive, Steve Goldstone and Jim Kilts, will remain with the company. Whichever way the Bugs Bunny cookies crumble, both will collect substantial compensation packages for the change in ownership.

Also-rans in the auction are the UK's Cadbury Schweppes and Danone of France, who launched a joint bid [WAMN, 19-May-00].

News source: Financial Times