Takeover Panel poised to step into the bid battle between Kraft and Cadbury

KRAFT is this week expected to be given its &ldquo;put up or shut up&rdquo; deadline by the Takeover Panel, which will force the US giant to either make a formal offer for Cadbury or walk away for six months.<br /><br />Due to the speed of the appeal by Cadbury, the panel is expected to give Kraft several more weeks to work on its financing and bid.&nbsp; Analysts expect Kraft to be given between six to eight weeks to make its decision on whether to bid.<br /><br />Kraft has so far intimated that it would be prepared to offer around 745p a share for Cadbury but the chocolate maker&rsquo;s chairman Roger Carr has said that figure &ldquo;fundamentally&rdquo; undervalues the business. <br /><br />Yesterday there were unconfirmed reports that Kraft might be planning a hostile offer for Cadbury at around &pound;11 a share but some analysts think it unlikely that the US firm will go that high.<br /><br />A deal between Kraft and Cadbury, the world&rsquo;s second biggest confectionery firm behind Mars, would create a group with annual sales of around &pound;30.5 billion.