Kraft completes takeover of Cadbury

Kraft Foods has sealed its takeover of Cadbury after over 70% of shareholders in the UK’s largest confectioner voted in favour of the deal.

Cadbury says it had received valid acceptances of the offer from investors representing 71.7% of the firm. The deal follows a six month bidding war for the confectioner.

Kraft chief executive Irene Rosenfeld says: “I warmly welcome Cadbury employees into the Kraft Foods family.”

Kraft Foods tabled its final offer to buy Cadbury for around £11.9bn on 19 January. The bid included an increased offer to 840p per Cadbury share, in a move to create a “leader in the global foods and confectionery sector.”

Kraft says its final offer “represents a compelling opportunity for Cadbury securityholders” and “will provide these potential for meaningful cost savings and revenue synergies”. It pledges to take a “best of both approach” to its marketing “augmenting the world-class capabilities of both Kraft Foods and Cadbury”.

Chief marketing officer Mary-Beth West currently oversees Kraft’s marketing. In Europe, Daryl Fielding started working with the company as its vice-president of marketing last month. Phil Rumbol handles Cadbury’s marketing in the UK. Tamara Minick-Scokalo is president of global commercial.

Kraft has also made reassurances that it will not “harm the history of Cadbury and the integrity of the brands…we will be much more aggressive about investing in marketing and advertising at Cadbury.”

Earlier today, Cadbury workers staged protests calling for government support to guarantee jobs.

Unite’s deputy general secretary Jack Dromey, says: “Our fear is that the Kraft takeover is not in the national interest, and in the months of this hostile takeover process, we have heard nothing from Kraft to calm fears that it is in the interest of the Cadbury workforce either.

“Instead, the fate of manufacturing workers in Terry’s of York, who found that Kraft ownership saw their plant close, weighs heavily on the minds of the Cadbury workforce.”

He adds: “The government must secure meaningful pledges from Kraft, and police them so that Kraft cannot again walk away from a UK workforce.

“Ministers must make it abundantly clear that closures and mass redundancies will not be accepted by the British government or the British people.”

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