Kraft Foods has moved to sweeten its offer for Cadbury, as Nestlé ruled itself out of the bidding war for the UK confectionery giant.

Kraft this morning revealed that its hostile bid for Cadbury, originally tabled in November, would include a ‘partial cash alternative’ following concern from Cadbury shareholders that too much of its offer was in shares.

The US food group is funding the cash alternative through the sale of its North American pizza business for $3.7bn to Nestlé, which had previously been touted as a potential rival bidder.

Cadbury was quick to dismiss the changed terms, saying Kraft had “once again missed the point”.

A spokesman said: “Despite this tinkering, the Kraft offer remains unchanged and derisory, with less than half the consideration in cash.”

Kraft will announce further details of the changed bid by 19 January. It added that its offer would be extended until 1.00pm on 2 February.

Meanwhile, Nestlé confirmed in a statement that it would not bid for the dairy milk maker.

“After discussions with the UK Takeover Panel regarding the potential for further speculation [about a bid], Nestlé confirms that it does not intend to make, or participate in, a formal offer for Cadbury,” the manufacturer said.