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The Blackstone counterbid could set the stage for a long buyout process in which offers are examined and debated.
The counterbid shifts the antitrust focus to whether one entity should have a lock on capital-raising in the US.
Shares in SSL International finished 295p higher at 1178p, which is above the offer price of 1163p, suggesting a possibility of a counterbid although the consensus is that this is unlikely.
Reports of an increased Kraft bid come amid expectations that another US firm, Hershey, is set to enter the fray with a counterbid for Cadbury.
Cazenove analysts said Nestle might make a counterbid for Cadbury, perhaps in a joint approach with U.
China's Sinopec has ruled out a counterbid for Russia-focused, London-listed Imperial Energy, leaving the field clear for India's ONGC to proceed with a takeover deal.
Schaeffler, whose bearings can be found in everything from the London Eye ferris wheel to the US space shuttle, outmaneouvered Continental at the outset by secretly securing indirect access to a third of its stock that succeeded in scaring away any potential rivals for a white knight counterbid.
But Nasdaq is now involved in a takeover battle to buy the Scandinavian stock exchange OMX after Borse Dubai launched a surprise counterbid trumping Nasdaq's $3.
But Mark Hughes is preparing a counterbid for Blackburn, with Fulham boss Chris Coleman and Pompey supremo Harry Redknapp also in the race.
Rumours flourished that a rival bid might be made for HCA, but with the family of Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, playing a big part in the consortium (his father and brother founded HCA) the success of a counterbid seemed doubtful.