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November 5, 2009

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Kraft still sweet on Cadbury takeover

KRAFT Foods Inc was still interested in acquiring Cadbury Plc but planned to deliver solid results with or without the British candy maker, Kraft said yesterday.

British regulators set a November 9 deadline for United States group Kraft to make a formal bid or walk away for six months.

The firm said in September it had made a US$16.7 million initial proposal for Cadbury and was rebuffed.

Kraft officials would not disclose the price or timing of an offer, saying they were limited by regulations. But they hinted it may be soon.

If Kraft does acquire Cadbury, it would create an industry giant, combining the world's second-largest food maker and one of the world's largest confectioners.

Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld reiterated that the company would maintain a disciplined approach to the deal. Kraft is committed to maintaining its investment-grade credit rating and to paying investor dividends, she said.

Kraft reported yesterday it earned US$824 million, or 55 US cents per share, in its third quarter, down from US$1.36 billion a year earlier.

The company's said its profit margins and sales volume rose from previous quarters.


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