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Buffett Opposes Kraft Shares Proposal For Cadbury

Billionaire Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway voted against Kraft's proposal to issue 370 million shares to finance bid for Cadbury, saying it gives Kraft management a 'blank check.'

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said Tuesday it voted against Kraft Inc.'s proposal to issue 370 million shares to finance its bid for British candy maker Cadbury PLC, saying the plan gives Kraft management a "blank check."

Kraft's shares, which closed at $27.43 on Tuesday, are a "very expensive 'currency'" to be used in the deal, Berkshire Hathaway said.

Food maker Kraft has offered $16.5 billion in cash and stock for Cadbury, which has rejected the offer.

Berkshire Hathaway owns about 138.3 million, or 9.4 percent, of Kraft's shares. It says it is Kraft's largest shareholder.

Kraft on Tuesday increased cash part its $16.5 billion offer for Cadbury after agreeing to sell its North American pizza business to Nestle.

Berkshire Hathaway said in a statement that voting for the share issuance would be "authorizing a huge transaction without knowing its cost or the means of payment."

Kraft has until Jan. 19 to revise its offer. Berkshire said it will vote to issue shares only if it does not think the final offer hurts value for Kraft shareholders.

Kraft could not immediately be reached for comment. Its shares rose 2 percent to $28.10 during premarket trading.

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