) --


(HSY) - Get Report

is planning to bid at least $17.9 billion next week for

Cadbury PLC


, according to a published media report.

Such an offer would top

Kraft Foods'


existing bid, which is valued at roughly $17.2 billion.

Hershey was wrapping up a financing package for such a deal on Friday, according to the report, published Saturday on

The Wall Street Journal's

Web site. The report cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

Under the package, Hershey plans to borrow at least $10 billion from banks including

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report


Bank of America's

(BAC) - Get Report

Merrill Lynch, according to the report.

The plan is also expected to include $5 billion in new Hershey shares and a minimum of $3 billion in financing from private investors and the Hershey trust, the report added.

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As currently envisaged, Hershey's offer would be from 800 pence to 820 pence (about $13.00 to $13.34) a share, vs. Kraft's existing offer of 770 pence (about $12.50), according to the report.

David West, Hershey's CEO, who has argued against such a bid, has accepted its inevitability, and Hershey's board has promised him the CEO's job in a merged company, the report said. Hershey and its trust declined to comment, the report added.

Kraft has until Tuesday to raise its current offer, while Hershey has another four days, until Jan. 23, to make a decision to bid

Hershey shares closed Friday at $36.25, while Cadbury's U.S.-listed shares ended the session at $51.90. Kraft stock ended the day at $29.58.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet.com staff.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.