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Cadbury and Kraft bosses woo investors

THE bosses of Kraft and Cadbury are holding a series of meetings in London this week to drum up support from investors in the bid battle for the Dairy Milk maker.<br /><br />Cadbury chief executive Todd Stitzer and Kraft boss Irene Rosenfeld yesterday attended the Bank of America Merrill Lynch global consumer and retail conference and are today meeting with investors.<br /><br />Both are speaking to their investors, but sources said they had no plans to meet each other. <br /><br />The British chocolate maker on Monday night asked the Takeover Panel for a &ldquo;put up or shut up&rdquo; ruling on Kraft&rsquo;s &pound;10.2bn offer.<br /><br />Although the appeal did not surprise analysts, some were rattled by the speed of the move, saying it showed there was no white knight bidder on the horizon. Others said Cadbury wanted to pressure Kraft into revealing how it would finance the bid.<br /><br />&ldquo;Kraft does not have unlimited firepower but can probably manage 850-860p, but it would come under pressure if Kraft shares start to fall,&rdquo; said one banking source.<br /><br />Kraft&rsquo;s original offer values the Cadbury shares at 745p. <br /><br />Kraft is understood to have sent its advisers to the Takeover Panel to plead its case that to force it to make a hasty final decision would not be in the best interests of Cadbury shareholders. <br /><br />It is also believed to be claiming that it has been just two weeks since it made its offer known. <br /><br />But observers yesterday pointed to Rosenfeld&rsquo;s letter to Cadbury chairman Roger Carr in which she wrote that the firms had started conversations on the 28 August, suggesting this defence will not carry much weight. <br /><br />Sources said the Takeover Panel was likely to give a ruling this week and expected it to give Kraft between four to eight weeks to make a formal offer.<br /><br />