Cadbury shares hit record highs on talk of bids

CADBURY shares yesterday hit a record high as the market bubbled with speculation that Hershey and Nestl&eacute;&nbsp; are waiting in the wings to make a bid for the chocolate maker.<br /><br />Cadbury stock reached a five-year peak of 819.50p, before closing 1.69 per cent up at 814p.<br /><br />Nestl&eacute;&nbsp; is believed to be holding talks with bankers to consider whether it wants to table an offer to rival the hostile &pound;9.8bn bid from Kraft, which has already been rejected by Cadbury&rsquo;s board as &ldquo;derisory&rdquo;. <br /><br />And Hershey, the maker of Hershey&rsquo;s Kisses, has been pushed by its controlling Trust to make a bid of $17bn (&pound;10.2bn) , which would trump Kraft&rsquo;s bid, after concerns that a Kraft Cadbury tie-up would swallow a large chunk of the market. <br /><br />&nbsp;Italian maker of Nutella, Ferrero, has also already confirmed it is looking at its options. Ferrero has appointed NM Rothschild and Mediobanca as its advisers. As yet no rival bid has been tabled.<br /><br />Unlike Ferrero or Hershey &ndash; who analysts believe would need to join with a partner to raise enough cash to win a bidding war &ndash; Nestl&eacute; has a substantial war chest and&nbsp; is set to sell its majority stake in an eye-care firm, Alcon, for $20bn.