Cadbury Suitors Make for Crowded Field

Hershey is being pressed to make an offer for Cadbury, while Nestle is considering a bid that would top Kraft's offer for the U.K. candy maker.
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HERSHEY, Pa. (

TheStreet

) --

Hershey

(HSY) - Get Report

is being pressed by its controlling charitable trust to launch a $17 billion bid for

Cadbury

(CBY)

rivaling the $16.5 billion bid made by

Kraft

(KFT)

, the

Wall Street Journal

reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile, a separate report says Switzerland's

Nestle

is weighing options including a possible bid for Cadbury.

Bloomberg

, citing two people with knowledge of the matter, said Nestle is reviewing its options with bankers and may decide against a bid, said the people.

Hershey's bid would include at least $10 billion in cash, $2 billion in new Hershey shares and about $3 billion to $5 billion in cash from rich investors in exchange for equity in Hershey, the

Journal

reports, citing sources.

The trust also is planning to sell $1 billion in assets to finance the deal but intends to structure the deal to retain control of Hershey.

JPMorgan Chase

and

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

are working with Hershey and the trust to raise financing for the bid.

The deal is reportedly facing resistance from management and senior officials of Hershey as they are concerned over big cuts within the company and are also worried the company may be burdened with huge debt.

It has been reported that Hershey and Italian candy maker

Ferrero

were holding discussions on a joint bid for Cadbury. But negotiations haven't advanced on that front, the

Journal

reports.