Cadbury's board of directors has been actively talking to the boards of Hershey and other potential bidders as it seeks a rival offer to Kraft's hostile takeover bid, a source familiar with the discussions said on Wednesday.

Cadbury is seeking not only a higher price than the $16.8 billion offered by Kraft, but also a merger partner that would let the British chocolatier have some management say in a combined company, the source said.

Spokesmen for Hershey and Cadbury declined comment.

(Reporting by Brad Dorfman; Editing by Gary Hill)