Oreo and Cadbury's US owner considers bid for I&J and Five Roses manufacturer AVI - insiders

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Five Roses tea.
Five Roses tea.
Supplied: AVI

Mondelez International is weighing a bid for South African food and beverage company AVI, a deal that would help the US multinational extend its presence in Africa, according to people familiar with the matter.

Discussions are underway though there’s no certainty a deal will be reached, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is ongoing. Mondelez, which owns Oreo biscuits and Cadbury’s chocolate, may not want to acquire the entire company, one of the people said. 

Mondelez declined to comment. AVI didn’t respond to requests for comment. 

Shares in AVI, whose brands include local favorites such as Five Roses tea, jumped as much as 6.3% after the Bloomberg News report, the most since the company said talks were underway with an unnamed suitor two months ago. 

The stock traded 4.4% higher at 2:26 p.m. local time, valuing the company at R29.4 billion rand ($1.9 billion).

AVI’s main brands are in the drinks and snacks categories, though the Johannesburg-based group also has fashion and frozen-food products that don’t appear to fit naturally with Mondelez’s portfolio. 

An acquisition by Mondelez would come after PepsiCo Inc. agreed to buy South Africa’s Pioneer Foods Group Ltd. for about $1.8 billion in 2019. 

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