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Cadbury battle hots up

US candy-maker Hershey is preparing a counter takeover bid for Cadbury that will top the £10.5bn (€11.7bn) offer from fellow American company Kraft Foods.

A formal offer could be made before the January 23 deadline and is understood to be a "more appealing" bid from a cultural point of view.

Cadbury has urged its shareholders to reject the offer from Kraft.

Under its takeover offer, Hershey Foods would authorise Byron Trott, a former Goldman Sachs banker who runs his own investment firm, to move to attract private investors to the deal.