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Old January 19th, 2010, 06:39 PM   #21
U475 Foxtrot
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Absolutely gutting

Give it 10 years and Bournville will look like Longbridge and Deers Leap

RBS provides the financial support for the Kraft bid and the hedge funds & bankers still get their bonuses in what's been the worst recession since the 1930's.

I seriously worry about about this country.

Last edited by U475 Foxtrot; January 19th, 2010 at 06:45 PM.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 07:03 PM   #22
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This is shocking. It is a sell out by the Board of Cadbury. They should be ashamed of themselves. The institutional investors would not have sold had the Board not given in.

I can't believe the apathy of a nation that says "what will be will be".

I don't think that there are many global British-owned manufacturing brand names left now.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 08:21 PM   #23
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Heard good stuff about these on the news before, Not an extremely well known company but they do manufacture in birmingham

http://www.samuel-heath.com/

Samuel Heath & Sons make a range of bathroom fittings, taps and door closers. It says on their website about them developing new door closers for the market and they have been manufacturing in Birmingham since 1845. They sell in Harrods and John Lewis

Must be doing quite well as Kevin Mcloud has joined up with them to manufacture his bathroom fittings designs.

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Old January 19th, 2010, 11:12 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by super1duper View Post
This is shocking. It is a sell out by the Board of Cadbury. They should be ashamed of themselves. The institutional investors would not have sold had the Board not given in.
The problem is the board's main responsibility is to ensure a good deal for shareholders. Not employees, not even customers. Shareholders.

Employees need to be far more involved within businesses on an executive level - or preferably own the business via the co-operative or partnership model. Otherwise you end with short-term thinking for financial gain, such as we've seen here.

It's also disappointing that during the run up to this, the only other alternative that it seemed to interest the board was a white knight acquisition by Hershey. It seems they frankly weren't fighting all that hard to keep themselves independent, just trying to get a better price.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 01:20 AM   #25
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we should protest...not like that does anything these days but you know...make a point
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Old January 20th, 2010, 01:29 AM   #26
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Well, I for one will not be buying a Creme Egg this year. Take that Kraftbury!
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Old January 20th, 2010, 01:40 AM   #27
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as long as they don't screw up Birmingham i'm fine with kraft and there processed cheese owning cadbury.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 11:37 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sefton66 View Post
I personally think Cadbury should be the ones looking to buy up companies not be taken over



this is good news though
Mandelson's a liar - he is saying that so he doesn't sound bad. Think back - has he every done anything useful or meaningful? He is all about spin.

This Stirrer article explains it more

http://www.thestirrer.co.uk/january0...aw-200110.html

but basically Mandelson can't do anything about it. In our free market, government doesn't interfere and if shareholders want to sell their shares, they can. This can be a good thing but my perception is that it is a one-way street and foreign companies can buy British but the moment someone tries to acquire a French, Indian, Chinese or American company, the shutters come down. It happens, but not with the icons.

Cadbury were actually very good at this - buying foreign firms and bringing them under the Cadbury brand.

Our only hope is that shareholders reject it but they probably won't. They are insurance companies and pension funds so to them this is a good deal. We can take heart that they will have £11billion to reinvest in (mostly) British economy but I don't think I believe in cold, hard business - there has to be a human factor and they should be investing sensibly in companies that act responsibly, maintain or increase shareprice, add value and offer a good dividend, which Cadbury's did. They are now selling them on to someone who has had to borrow £7billion just to buy the firm.

It is interesting that Warren Buffet is the largest shareholder of Kraft - and he is a man with a conscience as well as business acumen.

Kraft may eventually sell Cadbury's on - especially if their debt gets the better of them, but only a large firm would be able to buy them.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 02:46 PM   #29
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Seems that a British bank of which we all own a part of financed the deal even though it could lead to job losses and damage to our own econonmy

Quote:
RBS attacked for funding Kraft's takeover


Royal Bank of Scotland risked public outrage today over its role in funding Kraft's £11.9 billion bid for Cadbury.

The part-nationalised bank, 84 per cent-owned by the taxpayer after its near collapse in the financial crisis, has faced criticism for backing the takeover of a British firm by an overseas rival.

Unions and politicians have questioned whether RBS should have got involved in the deal — particularly given that it could lead to job losses in the UK and damage the British economy.

Vince Cable, the Lib-Dem Treasury spokesman, branded involvement by the bank “a scandal” and said: “This is not what a nationalised bank should be doing.”

Labour MP Khalid Mahmood, whose Birmingham Perry Barr constituency includes a lot of Cadbury employees, complained to the Chancellor, arguing that RBS should be supporting British business.

Unions warned that the need for Kraft to cut costs could mean job losses at Cadbury. Jennie Formby of Unite said: “We are concerned about the levels of debt that Kraft has.

“When you have to make cost savings of the magnitude [Kraft] will need to make, you have to ask where those cost savings will be made.”

Labour MP Steve McCabe was highly critical of RBS for getting involved in the hostile bid but said: “If the shareholders are indicating that they want to accept the Kraft bid that does rather change the situation. It is a PLC after all.”
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...ts-takeover.do
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Old January 20th, 2010, 02:53 PM   #30
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David Bailey's take on this is interesting - and very enlightening:

http://blogs.birminghampost.net/busi...bury.html#more

Quote:
Bankers' Fee Bonanza as Cadbury throws in the towel to Kraft takeover bid
By David Bailey on Jan 19, 10 04:48 PM in Manufacturing
Cadbury today put up the white flag in its six month effort to defend its independence. The board will recommend an £11.7 billion takeover from the US firm Kraft after one of the most bitter takeover duels in recent corporate history.

The takeover also threatens to re-start the debate over the vulnerability of British industry to foreign takeovers.

Cadbury, the iconic choccy firm started in Birmingham some 186 years ago, apparently threw in the towel after Franklin Templeton, the US mutual fund with a 7% stake, joined hedge funds in revealing that it would accept the higher Kraft offer equivalent to 850p a share.


More than a quarter of Cadbury shares are now held by hedge funds which bought the shares to make a fast profit in a takeover situation. That effectively undermined long-term shareholder commitment.

Cadbury and Kraft remained tight lipped today but Cadbury chairman Roger Carr said that the deal represents "good value" for Cadbury shareholders, and that the board was "pleased with the commitment that Kraft Foods has made to our heritage, values and people throughout the world"

Cadbury will now join a long list of British firms gobbled up by foreign takeovers of late - think BAA, Boots, Corus, ICI, Jaguar Land Rover, P&O, Pilkington, Scottish Power...

Despite strong words of warning from Lord Mandelson, the government was effectively powerless to act once a takeover had been agreed, having itself removed the 'public interest' element of UK Competition Policy regarding takeovers back in 2000.

This had previously given the government the power to block a takeover if it threatened jobs, the balance of payments, technology, regional development and so on, but über Blairite out-rider Stephen Byers had thought that was all a bit too-interventionist. What a mistake.

Unite the union has warned that as many as 30,000 jobs could be put at risk by the deal, with Kraft facing the need to service over £20 billion in debt after the takeover (my back-of-the-envelope figures suggest that Kraft will be looking for $1 billion plus a year in cost savings to justify the takeover - that means cuts somewhere).

And the Union points to Kraft's aggressive track record on cost-cutting, shedding some 19,000 jobs between 2004 and 2008 and closing 35 plants.

With the role of hedge funds highlighted in the Cadbury case, there will be questions about whether they should be stripped of voting rights in future takeover situations if they have bought in during a takeover situation and have held shares for, say, less than a year.

Of course most takeovers don't actually work; the majority of deals waste shareholder value and lead to huge disruption - and that's before we even consider the wider social and economic damage. That is part of the fear with Cadbury and whether Kraft will maintain production and high-level functions in the UK in the long-term.

The people who really makes money out of takeovers, though, are the investment bankers. This is London suggests today that the Cadbury takeover will generate a fees bonanza in London and New York, with advisors at Lazard (lead advisor to Kraft during the whole affair), Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS stacking up some £120 million. Reuters meanwhile today highlights the bonanza at UBS, Cadbury's advisor throughout.

Nice money if you can get it. They are the real beneficiaries of this takeover and indeed most others. Forget the workers at Cadbury of course - they don't have a say. And forget whether it makes any sense for shareholders in the long run or indeed the wider economy. Let's be clear - all that has really mattered in New Labour's economic policy since 1997 has been the City of London.
Only 25% have said they'll accept, but the others are probably going to go with The Board.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 04:13 PM   #31
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Marconi tried to expand by taking over other companies and got it completely wrong - when I worked at Marconi (When it was GPT) a business chap teaching us a graduate course even told us that he thought "Lord" Simpson's plan would fail...
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Old January 21st, 2010, 09:39 PM   #32
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Cadbury fight to go to Westminster

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THE battle over the future of Cadbury is set to go to Westminster as Midland MPs rally in support of the world-famous chocolate maker.

MPs, including Northfield MP Richard Burden and Selly Oak MP Lynne Jones, are seeking an adjournment debate in the House of Commons ahead of the Cadbury shareholder vote on February 2 over Kraft’s £11.7 billion bid.

Mr Burden said: “It is not over until it is over.

“Companies are not simply money-generating machines for shareholders – they have a social role as well.”

Erdington MP and Government minister Sion Simon attacked his colleagues for failing to do enough to protect jobs at Cadbury.

He urged Business Secretary Lord Mandelson to demand a guarantee that jobs would be safe under Kraft *– and to block the sale if the company refused. Speaking as a local MP rather than his role as a Minister in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, he said: “Peter Mandelson needs to get stuck in and start batting for Birmingham.”

And Birmingham City Council’s regeneration boss Coun Neville Summerfield said: “This takeover would be a terrible blow for the city and could lead to the latest in a long line of closures of iconic British companies brought about primarily to benefit overseas-based self-interest.

“I hope shareholders think about the longer-term financial benefits to be gained by staying independent rather than choosing to take the short-term quick buck.

“There is much at stake in the next couple of weeks, not just for Birmingham but for an iconic symbol of British industry. I would urge the shareholders to think very carefully before rushing to a decision.”
http://www.birminghammail.net/news/t...7319-25648226/
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 01:20 AM   #33
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Join the facebook group
Cadbury - Reject the takeover bid
http://www.facebook.com/#/group.php?gid=262347939089
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 02:20 AM   #34
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Already a bigger group going:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gi...7537017&ref=mf
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 01:10 AM   #35
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Not really a company based in Brum but Drivers Jonas, who have an office in Brum, are merging with Deloitte. http://www.propertyweek.com/story.asp?storycode=3156804

However, Adams Kids, which was founded in Brum in 1933, has fallen back into administration for a third time. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...administration
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 01:21 AM   #36
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Bigger facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/pages/KEEP-C...9848..1&v=wall
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Old January 27th, 2010, 03:28 PM   #37
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Quote:
Challenge to PM's Cadbury pledge

The Birmingham MP asked how Cadbury jobs were to be secured
A Birmingham MP has asked the prime minister to explain how he will help save jobs at Cadbury in the wake of a US takeover bid.

Cadbury's board of directors accepted an £11.5bn offer from the US giant Kraft Foods on 19 January.

Shareholders have until 2 February to accept or reject it, but unions have warned the deal could lead to job cuts.

Labour MP Lynne Jones asked Parliament on Tuesday how Gordon Brown planned to honour his commitment to help staff.


During an adjournment debate on Tuesday, the Birmingham Selly Oak MP said: "I would like to finish by asking ... exactly what the prime minister meant when he said the government would do 'everything it can to make sure that jobs and investment are maintained in Britain'. How will this commitment be delivered?"

Following the announcement of the Kraft takeover bid, Gordon Brown said the government was "determined" to ensure that Cadbury jobs were secured.

Our protest is intended to send a clear message to Cadbury shareholders- don't sell Cadbury out.

Unite union officer Jennie Formby
Cadbury employs about 4,500 staff in the UK and has plants at Bournville in Birmingham, Marlbrook in Herefordshire, Chirk in Wales and Keynsham in Somerset.

Unite Union said Cadbury workers would protest outside the Bournville factory on Wednesday in an attempt to safeguard jobs and stop Kraft changing the company beyond recognition if it completes the takeover next week.

Unite officer Jennie Formby said: "Our members and their friends across the Midlands deserve a voice in this takeover. They are angry that they have been forced to look on from the sidelines as the big money players carve up their company.

"Our protest is intended to send a clear message to Cadbury shareholders don't sell Cadbury out."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/w...ds/8482494.stm
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Old February 1st, 2010, 04:34 PM   #38
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Insolvency firm MCR set for Midlands office launch

Quote:
1st February 2010
MCR, the corporate turnaround firm, is set to open its first office in the West Midlands.

The new office will be in Birmingham and will open in March, founding partner David Whitehouse told TheBusinessDesk.com.

MCR, which has large offices already in London and Manchester, is also targeting Leeds in its expansion, although opening in the Midlands will come first.

The firm, which recently handled the administration of national book chain Borders, this month launched a new debt advisory service, led by former Bank of Scotland Corporate executive Paul Smith.


Mr Whitehouse said: "We are looking to hire new people, open new offices and are delighted to launch the debt advisory service, which I'm sure will take off

"We are continuing to see a lot of distress, particularly in retail and property and I share the view of many in the profession that there will be more insolvencies as we come out of recession."
http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westm..._section=19011
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Old February 1st, 2010, 04:37 PM   #39
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Foreign media wowed by Brum

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BIRMINGHAM'S marketing agency has claimed success in helping to sell the city to the rest of the world. Marketing Birmingham has hosted a number of media visits to the city, helping to generate valuable exposure for the area.

More than 250 such visits have been organised so far this year by the agency’s PR team, helping to generate around £3.5m in media coverage.

Recent visits have included a group of five journalists from Ireland, one of the key countries identified for the Visit Birmingham campaign. Northern Ireland’s Escape Magazine was particularly enthusiastic about the city’s shopping and dining out offerings.

An opposite extreme to this came with a visit by American journalist Betsa Marsh who wanted to visit the city’s old back-to-back housing and be transported back to the 19th century.

A national TV channel from New Zealand travelled to Birmingham to film a live outside broadcast for its breakfast show, while national radio station Talksport broadcast its award winning breakfast show live from the city with four hours of Birmingham-themed events and interviews, the broadcast going out to 1.8m people.

“Marketing Birmingham continues to successfully leverage its leisure and business campaigns by planning and managing media visits,” said the agency.

The visits are integral to the agency’s leisure and business campaigns and each one is carefully targeted to encourage key journalists to make the trip.

A tailored itinerary is set up for each journalist so they achieve the most from their visit. This includes meeting a wide range of city champions, visits to key venues and attractions and interviews with key stakeholders.

The agency said it was delighted with the response it had received, particularly the encouraging feedback from visitors.

Examples include:
“Many thanks for all you did to make my stay in Birmingham so good. Everything was great and I got a lot more insight into the city. I only wish the book was bigger!”
Kate Hughes, Fodor Travel Guide

“Once again, thank you for being a great host, and for organising such a fantastic itinerary. We'll definitely be back in Birmingham for a short break soon!”
Andrea McVeigh, Escape Magazine
http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westm..._section=19036
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Old February 1st, 2010, 05:03 PM   #40
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Quote:
KRAFT boss Irene Rosenfeld has told thousands of worried Cadbury workers: “Don’t fear for your jobs.”

The US giant’s chief executive hailed the Bournville company as a “fabulous business” and added: “It is our intention to preserve those assets.”

Ms Rosenfeld’s comments were reported yesterday – as Unite union officials wrote to her demanding an urgent meeting to allay workers’ fears for the future.

The letter, from Unite national secretary Jennie Formby, called for a “positive and constructive working relationship” with Cadbury unions following tomorrow’s expected shareholder approval of the Kraft takeover.

Cadbury workers are set to lobby Parliament as part of their fight to keep 2,500 of the company’s jobs in Birmingham.

But Ms Rosenfeld said: “It is our intention to invest in the business.

“We have made a commitment that we believe we will be a net positive for manufacturing jobs (for Cadbury) and I am still hopeful that we will be able to accomplish that.

“I think the next weeks and months will be very important for us working collectively to figure out what is the best way forward to grow this business.

“We are committed to growing it. The concerns about jobs and job losses, particularly in the manufacturing community, are greatly overstated.”

She also rebuffed complaints from billionaire US investor Warren Buffett, Kraft’s biggest shareholder, that the near £12 billion Cadbury package was a “bad deal”.

Ms Rosenfeld said: “I think Warren has a point of view and I respect his point of view, but I believe the best thing we can do for our shareholders is to deliver against the targets we have set for the combined company.”
http://www.birminghammail.net/news/b...7319-25729148/
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