Hostile bid on Kraft's radar

KRAFT has opened talks with its bankers to arrange the financing necessary for its &pound;10.2bn bid for Cadbury, in a sign that the US group could go hostile.<br /><br />It is understood that the group is talking to its advisors, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup, about a loan facility of around &pound;5bn, which would be repaid with the proceeds of an investment-grade bond offering.<br /><br />It is thought that the food producer is in a hurry to get the financing in place, which it would need to do before going hostile, to reduce the threat of a counter-offer.<br /><br />But Kraft last night played down suggestions that it was discussing the financing, or that it would be prepared to raise its offer for Cadbury.<br /><br />The chocolate company rejected Kraft&rsquo;s bid earlier this week, but its shares have climbed nearly 40 per cent amid talk of a bidding war between Kraft and US rival Hershey, while Swiss group Nestl&eacute; has also been mentioned as a contender.<br /><br />Some analysts have said Hershey and Nestl&eacute; could make a joint offer for Cadbury, then split the business to get around any anti-trust concerns.<br /><br />Kraft&rsquo;s chief executive Irene Rosenfeld has said the company &ldquo;will continue to be disciplined&rdquo; in its attempt to acquire Cadbury.