Hershey has decided not to mount a bid for Cadbury, leaving the way clear for Kraft Foods to complete its controversial takeover.

Hershey has conceded that Kraft’s recommended bid of 840p a share, plus an additional 10p a share dividend, was too high for it to top.

The decision follows a unanimous vote by Hershey’s board of directors late on Wednesday against a competing offer, according to the Financial Times.

The move ends months of debate within the US confectioner and the charitable trust that controls the majority of its voting shares.

Kraft now only needs to get the approval of 50% of Cadbury’s shareholders, who must vote by 2 February, to succeed.

Senior figures at Cadbury had previously suggested that Hershey would represent a better cultural fit than Kraft.

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Carr defends Cadbury sell-off but admits job losses ‘inevitable’ (20 January 2010)
Hard Kraft: an interview with Nick Bunker, the next head of Cadbury (16 January 2010)