Kroika Makes Bid for Oreo--Nation in Uproar (April 1, 2006)
Kroika Cookie and Biscuit Company, Ltd., shocked the snack world today by making an unsolicited offer of $26 billion for American icon Nabisco, home of the Oreo cookie. The surprise bid from obscure Kroika sent shockwaves rippling all the way to Washington as the bid was quickly matched by a Dubai-based firm seeking to expand beyond oil.
As readers know, I have a fat consulting contract with Kroika to assist their marketing and branding here in the U.S. Readers may also remember that the majority owner of Kroika is the People's Liberation Army (PLA), while the minority owner is a shadowy Dutch multinational with roots stretching back to the 17th exploitation of Sumatra--specifically, bat guano and the once-plentiful and now rare Sumatran Boatplug hardwood.
One senator was heard to snort, "I'll be gol-durned if the dang Chinese Army and some Dutch thieves are gonna own Oreos!" Meanwhile, the LBO (leveraged buyout) specialists who own RJR-Nabisco (and thus the Oreo brand), KKR, were reportedly "interested in seeing who sweetens the bid" upward. KKR borrowed $26 billion to buy both Nabisco, the home of heartwarming American brands, and the tobacco giant, RJR, forming a marriage obviously made in Heaven. Breaking up the pair is a devastating possibility, de-linking cigarets and Oreos.
Rumors are swirling that KKR is negotiating a side deal with the PLA--the PLA gets Nabisco only if the Chinese Army buys RJR cigarets for all its troops. One staunchly protectionist senator--off the record, of course--said he was open to the idea. "If we can kill off the Chinese Army with cigarets, then losing Nabisco might make strategic sense." The Dubai firm, meanwhile, was promising to keep all manufacturing in the U.S., allaying fears of yet more job losses in U.S. manufacturing.
KKR is keeping its cards close to its vest, but inside spies report the prevailing view is strictly self-interested greed: "It's ours to sell to the highest bidder. Any interference by the government is pure Socialist meddling." In unrelated news, KKR welcomed the government's limitations on tobacco-related liability lawsuits.
Happy April Fools Day 2006!
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