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Will we finally see a counter bid for Cadbury?

Just when we thought the Cadbury bid situation was dying a death and leaving the way clear for Kraft Foods, sources in Italy believe that Ferrero is currently in the process of deciding whether to go ahead with a joint-venture offer with US outfit Hershey. Those close to the situation are convinced that the company has put together a $4.5 billion loan syndicate with the identity of the financial institutions apparently common knowledge within the markets.

While Ferrero has until 23 January to put in a competing offer it is likely we could see some activity in the short term with the two parties believed to be in deep discussions as we speak. Whether there has been any communication with the Cadbury board is unclear but there is no doubt that the directors of Cadbury are looking for a "white knight" to come to their rescue.

Even though the clever money is still on Kraft Foods stealing the day with a higher offer there may well be more twists and turns in this particular takeover saga. Just 24 hours after the situation appeared to be dead and buried, in favour of Kraft Foods, we now find that a potential counterbid could be just around the corner. What next?

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