A demerged Cadbury is more vulnerable to a takeover by Kraft following Mars' purchase of Wrigley, analysts have warned.

Cadbury lost its status as global confectionery leader this week as Mars, backed by billionaire Warren Buffett, paid $23bn for Wrigley's global business.

With Cadbury having shed its drinks range and Kraft now free of its parent group Altria, analysts said a bid for Cadbury would make strategic sense .

"Cadbury could be vulnerable. It's good on top-line growth but poor at delivering good margins," said one analyst. "Kraft, on the other hand, is weaker on the top line but maintains good margins."

Another described Cadbury as a "good fit" for Kraft. "They're very strong in Continental Europe, where Cadbury lacks presence," he said. However, Kraft only accounts for 2.5% of UK confectionery sales.

With global brands such as Extra, Orbit and Lifesavers added to its portfolio, Mars now commands a 14% share of the global confectionery market, compared with Cadbury's 10%.

Wrigley's newfound freedom as a privately owned company, meanwhile, could make for a more competitive confectionery market.

"There are things that Wrigley can do now as a private company that they couldn't do before," said one analyst. "With no shareholders to answer to they can focus all their efforts on growing sales."

Mars said it intended to keep Wrigley as a standalone company but would transfer its sugar confectionery brands, including Skittles and Starburst, to Wrigley.

"This is a growth deal not a synergy deal," said Alison Clark, Mars UK corporate affairs director. "Wrigley is a very similar business to Mars in terms of the strength of their brands and big marketing focus."

The feeling among some analysts, however, was that Mars had overpaid for the Wrigley business. "I cannot see how Mars makes these numbers add up," said Alex Molloy of Credit Suisse. "Wrigley is seeing reasonable growth but it's certainly not stellar."