LONDON (AP) — Italian confectioner Ferrero International SA on Monday formally declared that it would not make a takeover bid for Cadbury PLC.
That left Kraft Foods Inc. with no one contesting its 11.5 billion-pound ($19.5 billion) bid for Cadbury.
The announcement came on the deadline for Ferrero to make a firm offer. The Italian company, maker of Nutella nut spread and Tic-Tac mints, reportedly had mulled a joint bid with The Hershey Co.
Hershey ruled itself out of the running on Friday.
Kraft, the maker of Oreo cookies and Phildelphia cream cheese, now has until Feb. 2 to line up a majority of Cadbury shareholders to accept its offer, which is endorsed by Cadbury's board.