LONDON - Kraft Foods Inc and Cadbury saw their credit ratings slashed to the lowest investment grade on Wednesday after Kraft won the backing from Cadbury's board for its $19.6 billion takeover bid.

Credit rating agency Fitch said it had downgraded its issuer default rating on both companies one notch to BBB-.

Late Tuesday, rival ratings agency Moody's said Kraft's credit ratings would likely remain investment grade following the deal, but are under review for a possible downgrade.

The downgrades reflect the anticipated increase in financial leverage of the combined Kraft/Cadbury, said Fitch, in statements for both companies. (Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Hans Peters)