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Cadbury sage could become a three horse race

The fight for Cadbury could become a three horse race with the announcement that American confectioner Hershey and privately owned Ferrero are both reviewing their options with regards to a possible bid for Cadbury. Speculation at the weekend suggested that the two had held talks about a joint bid for Cadbury but so far this has not been confirmed and there are those who believe the two are too small to launch a multi-billion pound bid. So where does this leave Cadbury?

The company is currently fighting off a £10 billion offer from US giant Kraft Foods and while analysts believe the bid undervalues the company there are no other options at the moment. However, there are many who believe that Kraft Foods will come in with a higher offer in due course and indeed we could see Hershey and Ferrero launch their own counteroffer if they are able to arrange finance for the transaction.

Today's announcement by Hershey and Ferrero was expected by many, after speculation it the weekend press, but in all honesty they do not have the firepower of Kraft Foods or any finance as yet at their beck and call. The future of Cadbury is in the balance but we are really no further forward.

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