* Kraft says deal financing does not require divestitures
* Kraft shares down 2 cents
(Adds Cadbury address Wednesday, updates stock prices)
By Brad Dorfman
CHICAGO, Sept 15 Kraft Foods Inc KFT.N does
not need to sell operations like Oscar Mayer hot dogs, Maxwell
House coffee or any of its other brands to afford its $16
billion bid for British confectioner Cadbury CBRY.L, Kraft
said on Tuesday.
"The financing for this proposal does not require any
divestitures," Kraft spokeswoman Perry Yeatman said.
Yeatman was responding to a report on Tuesday in the New
York Post that said Kraft, the world's second-largest food
company, could sell assets to finance its bid for Cadbury. The
report cited sources familiar with the matter.
Kraft's bid was originally worth $16.7 billion (10.2
billion pounds) when it disclosed its proposed offer on Sept.
7, though a decline in Kraft's share price has since lowered
the value of that cash-and-stock bid.
Cadbury has rejected the offer, with Chairman Roger Carr
saying the prospect of being absorbed into Kraft was
"Under your proposal, Cadbury would be absorbed into
Kraft's low growth, conglomerate business model, an unappealing
prospect which contrasts sharply with our strategy to be a pure
play confectionery company," Carr told Kraft CEO Irene
Rosenfeld in a letter seen by Reuters over the weekend.
Analysts have said that Kraft will likely have to raise its
bid in order to get a deal with Cadbury.
Kraft has maintained it will be "disciplined" in its
pursuit of Cadbury and that it wants to maintain an "investment
grade" credit rating, a strategy that could limit how much
higher it is willing to go with its bid.
Investors will watch closely on Wednesday when Cadbury
Chief Executive Todd Stitzer speaks at a Sanford Bernstein
conference in London, where he is expected to be quizzed on his
defense strategy for Cadbury.
Kraft shares were down 1 cent at $26.10 on the New York
Stock Exchange early Tuesday afternoon. Cadbury shares closed
up almost 1 percent in London.
(Reporting by Brad Dorfman; Additional reporting by Santosh
Nadgir in Bangalore; Editing by Dave Zimmerman and Richard