NEW YORK: A charitable trust controlling US chocolate maker Hershey is backing a bid of 17 billion dollars for Britain's Cadbury, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The Journal, citing several people familiar with the matter, said the Hershey Trust is pressing to top the hostile bid from US food giant Kraft estimated at some 16.5 billion dollars.

The bid, if it emerges, could include 10 billion dollars in cash from Hershey as well as two billion dollars worth of Hershey shares, the report said. Additional funds may be sought from other investors.

The Journal reported earlier that Hershey was mulling a joint bid with Italian confectioner Ferrero.

On Wednesday, a Cadbury spokesman told AFP that it would only consider a takeover offer which delivered "full value" for Cadbury.