So far, Cadbury’s hope that Italy’s Ferrero and U.S.-based Hershey will make a counter-bid for the chocolate company look like a pipedream. Cadbury’s stock has ticked up but is still pretty much where it has been since Kraft’s hostile $16.8 offer hit the market. Nobody appears to be buying the idea that a white-chocolate knight will come up with a bid to seriously rival Kraft’s.

The chance of a joint Ferrero-Hershey bid may be slim. Questions about funding commitments and investment restrictions set on Hershey by its charitable trust ownership structure make any deal involving the maker of chocolate kisses a tough sell.

And market sources say that if they were successful, a Ferrero-Hershey tie-up would likely lead to a breakup of Cadbury along geographic lines.