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Last Updated: Friday, 18 May 2007, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
Cadbury shares rise on bid talk
Drinks dispenser
Speculation suggests the drinks unit may attract bids of 8bn

Cadbury Schweppes shares have risen on market talk that a bidding war could break out for the firm's drinks arm.

According to reports, the group has had numerous expressions of interest in the US-based unit - best known for the Snapple, 7-Up and Dr Pepper brands.

But a Daily Telegraph report suggested one possible might make a bid for the whole of the company.

Cadbury unveiled plans to split itself into two, separating its confectionery and soft drinks business, in March.

Further details of its separation plans are expected to be unveiled when it publishes its trading update next month.

Bid hopes

Shares in the group closed 11.5 pence, or 1.71%, higher at 685p on the London market, after earlier rising by as much as 4%.

Reports suggest that as many as 12 firms have expressed an interest in snapping up the American Beverages unit.

According to the Daily Telegraph, two private equity consortiums are putting together bids of around 8bn ($16m) for the group's drinks arm.

The newspaper added that a consortium made up of Blackstone, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Lion Capital had also instructed advisers to look at the possibility of a bid for the whole of Cadbury - which is worth an estimated 14bn.

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