Kraft to offer more for Cadbury

The fate of Cadbury as a proudly independent confectioner, and the security of hundreds of jobs in the UK and Ireland, may hang on critical decisions taken this weekend by two towering figures in the stock-picking world: American billionaire investors Warren Buffett and Nelson Peltz.

Two months after Kraft publicly declared its proposed bid for Cadbury Plc. now worth about $16.36 billion -- Kraft Foods Inc. Chief Executive Officer Irene Rosenfeld faces a Monday deadline to decide whether to proceed with a formal offer or walk away for at least six months.

Rosenfeld is expected to formalize her initial cash and stock offer for Cadbury, originally worth 745 pence per share and now valued at about 722 pence per share, on Monday. Back in the more sober investment world, shareholder support for a Kraft bid has been Rosenfeld's main focus in recent days.

While both Kraft and Cadbury insist they treat discussions with all major shareholders equally, most deal-watchers agree the views of billionaire investors Nelson Peltz and Warren Buffett are likely to prove pivotal in shaping the price of any offer. But in the absence of any rival bidders, most industry watchers question whether the deal is up to Rosenfeld to lose.

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