Cadbury keen on Hershey as a bid battle with Kraft looms

A BID battle looks set to break out for takeover target Cadbury after it emerged Hershey had lined up &pound;4bn for a possible approach and Cadbury&rsquo;s boss said the UK firm may fit well with the US chocolate giant.<br /><br />Hershey, known for its Hershey bars and Kisses in the US, is understood to have lined up bank loans to finance a &pound;10.3bn offer for Cadbury.<br /><br />Cadbury is facing a hostile &pound;9.8bn takeover approach from Dairylea cheese group Kraft, which is due to send details of its offer to Cadbury shareholders by 7 December.<br /><br />Most other big players in the worldwide confectionery industry, including Italy&rsquo;s Ferrero and Swiss Nestle, are also thought to be mulling bids.<br /><br />Hershey, which is reviewing&nbsp; options on Cadbury, was unavailable to comment and Cadbury declined to say anything.<br /><br />In a weekend newspaper interview, Cadbury&rsquo;s chief executive Todd Stitzer said the Birmingham-based chocolate firm shared &ldquo;a lot of cultural similarity&rdquo; with Hershey.<br /><br />In September, Cadbury rejected a cash-and-shares merger with Kraft valuing the business at &pound;10.2bn. Kraft tabled an official cash-and-shares bid of &pound;9.9bn earlier this month.