Cadbury to respond to Kraft offer
Dairy Milk maker Cadbury is due to launch its defence against Kraft's hostile takeover bid on December 14, the UK firm has announced.
The posting of its circular to more than 50,000 shareholders follows the publication of Kraft's offer document on Friday.
The bid from Kraft - the company behind brands including Toblerone, Dairylea and Kenco coffee - values Cadbury at around 713p a share - equivalent to £10.1 billion - although Cadbury's shares were trading at 794p on Monday.
The first deadline for shareholder acceptances has been set at January 5, with the whole process subject to a 60-day timetable under Takeover Panel rules.
Roger Carr, chairman of Cadbury, has dismissed Kraft's initial bid as "derisory" and not even "remotely close" to the true value of the firm.
Meanwhile, speculation is mounting that US company Hershey is in talks with Swiss food group Nestle about mounting a joint bid for Cadbury.
City analysts have suggested Nestle could be interested in buying Cadbury's gum business, but it may face anti-trust issues.
Hershey and Ferrero have already announced they are considering their options for Cadbury, but have yet to make a move.
In November, it was reported that Hershey had lined up more than £4 billion in financing to launch a bid. The company has loans from JP Morgan and Bank of America to fund a £10.3 billion offer for Cadbury and spark a full-blown bid battle, reports said.
Italian group Ferrero, which owns Ferrero Rocher, Kinder and Nutella, has also been named as a possible buyer of some Cadbury brands.