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Kraft and Cadbury Agree on Friendly Merger

After months of fiercely resisting any deal, Cadbury agreed Tuesday to an improved takeover offer from Kraft, worth about $19 billion, to create the world’s largest confectioner. Together Kraft, the maker of Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers, and Cadbury, the producer of Trident gum and Dairy Milk chocolates, would have more than $50 billion in annual revenue and a big presence in markets from the United States to India. The deal continues a trend seen over the past decade, in which food companies have sought to gain scale by combining with one another. Most recently, Mars bought the William Wrigley Jr. Co. in 2008 for $23 billion.

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