Kraft under pressure to hike its bid for Cadbury

KRAFT may be forced to cough up more cash in its bid for confectionary group Cadbury after an underwhelming set of third quarter results &ndash; which analysts say make its share option element of the offer less attractive. <br /><br />Kraft&rsquo;s figures disappointed industry observers after it posted a modest 0.5 per cent like-for-like growth which paled in comparison to Cadbury&rsquo;s reported seven per cent growth last week.<br /><br />Kraft&rsquo;s shares dropped yesterday by 2.51 per cent to $26.85 (&pound;16.91)<br /><br />Cadbury chairman Roger Carr previously dismissed the initial offer of &pound;10.2bn as &ldquo;unattractive&rdquo; from a &ldquo;low growth conglomerate&rdquo;.<br /><br />Kraft now has until Monday to launch a formal bid under Takeover Panel rules &ndash; or it must walk away for another six months.<br /><br />Kraft chief executive Irene Rosenfeld has stuck to her argument that the group has always been &ldquo;disciplined&rdquo; in its payment for acquisitions, and it is likely major shareholder US billionaire Warren Buffett will be leaning heavily to convince her not to over pay for Cadbury.<br /><br />Panmure Gordon analyst Graham Jones said: &ldquo;Apart from the usual&nbsp; bluster from Kraft about not over-paying, the only real new news was that&nbsp; Kraft has raised $9bn of bridge financing, which is enough to raise the&nbsp; cash element of the bid from 300p to 400p as we have previously suggested. Cadbury shares closed down 11p at 766p.