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How much does Kraft Foods really want Cadbury?

As Cadbury shares broke through the eight pound barrier today, on expectations of a bidding war for the company, many analysts are now wondering how much Kraft Foods really wants Cadbury. There is growing speculation regarding the company with renewed rumours of a potential bidder from smaller US outfit Hershey. However, there is no doubt that Kraft Foods has the firepower and the finance to blow any Hershey bid out of the water but will Kraft Foods deliver the ultimate knockout blow?

Kraft Foods is around five times the size of Hershey which is half the size of Cadbury and while the company appears to be, if the rumours are correct, on the verge of a bid, can Hershey really afford to pay upwards of eight pound a share. Standard Life, one of the larger institutional shareholders in Cadbury, has today confirmed it believes the shares are worth in excess of nine pounds a share despite the fact some analysts believe that a bid of over eight pound a share could be successful.

Only 24 hours ago it seemed to be a one horse race with Cadbury at the beck and call of Kraft Foods, but the introduction of Hershey at the last minute has certainly caught some analysts by surprise.

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