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Old February 2nd, 2010, 08:06 PM   #41
sefton66
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Kraft Foods completes Cadbury takeover

Workers protest in London
US firm Kraft Foods has sealed its takeover of Cadbury after shareholders in the UK chocolate maker voted in favour of the deal.

Cadbury said it had received valid acceptances of the offer from investors representing 71.7% of the firm.

Kraft chief executive Irene Rosenfeld said: "I warmly welcome Cadbury employees into the Kraft Foods family."

Earlier, Cadbury workers had staged protests in London calling for government support to guarantee jobs.

The deadline for Cadbury shareholders to accept a £11.5bn ($18.9bn) offer from Kraft was 1300 GMT.

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson will meet Ms Rosenfeld later to discuss jobs.





Does it matter that Cadbury is no longer British?
Shadow business secretary Ken Clarke was also holding talks with Ms Rosenfeld over Cadbury's future.

'Phenomenal future'

When Kraft passes the 75% threshold it intends to take Cadbury off the stock market.

When it reaches 90% support, under UK law, it can automatically buy up the remaining shares.

"The combination of Kraft Foods and Cadbury creates a global powerhouse in snacks, confectionery and quick meals," said Ms Rosenfeld.

"Together we have impressive global reach and an unrivalled portfolio of iconic brands, with tremendous growth potential.

"This combined company has a phenomenal future, and I firmly believe it will deliver outstanding returns to our shareholders."

'Meaningful pledges'

But earlier, unions voiced their fears over the takeover.

Unite's deputy general secretary Jack Dromey said: "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.


Workers at a factory in Bournville explain why they are protesting
"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 added: "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."

Last month, Unite warned shareholders of the British chocolate-maker that Kraft's debts, estimated to be about £22bn, meant there could be an "irresistible imperative" to reduce costs by cutting jobs.

Unions fear Kraft will move quickly to recoup the expenditure by slashing jobs and have demanded an urgent meeting with Kraft's global management.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8492572.stm
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Old February 4th, 2010, 01:21 PM   #42
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A good video about Bournville and Cadbury .

http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/birmingh...00/8486445.stm
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Old February 4th, 2010, 05:05 PM   #43
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Kraft's credit rating has gone from A- to BBB. Cadbury drop out of the FTSE100, ARM have taken their place.

Well, glad a British owned company, ARM, has now taken their place.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 11:48 PM   #44
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Good old Kraft, after promising to keep Cadbury's Bristol factory open, they are now going to close it after all. Hasn't taken then long to go back on their words... where next...
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Old February 10th, 2010, 12:01 AM   #45
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and how do you know this?
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Two Weeks Notice
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Old February 10th, 2010, 12:22 AM   #46
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http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE6182L820100209
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Old February 10th, 2010, 12:42 AM   #47
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In all fairness, Cadbury's were in the process of shutting the factory and the process was already far too advanced for Kraft to be able to reverse it without spending ridiculous amounts of money. In taking over Cadbury, Kraft inherited this bad news and they've ended up with egg on their faces as a result.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 12:49 AM   #48
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Yes, but why go to the trouble of deliberately promising on somthing you don't even know you can deliver?

The hallmark of either a very poorly managed or a very dishonest company, neither of which fills me with great hope for the future of Cadburys or Bournville.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 01:22 AM   #49
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As far as i know kraft have always said about the bristol factory closing and that there may be a very slim chance the closure could be delayed and even stopped completely so its no suprise to me as erebus said it was too advanced good news to see that they have said they are commited to investing in bournville though.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 01:31 AM   #50
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And for all the amount of resources that it would have took to keep the Bristol factory open, it would have meant that cuts would be necessary elsewhere in the Cadbury network.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 01:58 AM   #51
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No, Kraft did in fact categorically state they were keeping Somerdale open - somewhat worryingly in exactly the same sentence as investing in the future of Bournville! They would have been well aware of the position on this plant and known of the new facility being built in Poland whilst conducting due dilligence - just pure dishonesty to have promised this at the time.

Quote:
"...for example, we believe we would be in a position to continue to operate the Somerdale facility, which is currently planned to be closed, and invest in Bournville, thereby preserving UK manufacturing jobs..."

Irene B. Rosenfeld
Kraft Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125230602908289941.html

Last edited by rob_right; February 10th, 2010 at 02:07 AM.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 02:07 AM   #52
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The devil is in the details, however. "we believe...." doesn't mean they will keep it open. They're just stating that they believed that they would be able to do it... but then the game changed when they had to substantially up their bid.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 02:13 AM   #53
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There was never any need to make such reassurances in the first place if they were mounting a hostile bid, simply a very dishonest PR exercise.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 11:14 AM   #54
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Sign of things to come sadly...
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Old February 10th, 2010, 03:58 PM   #55
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Kraft have just been naive in this instance.

They bought Cadbury citing it as a well run business. Well clearly that well run business had done its homework on Somerdale and had reached a logical conclusion.

Kraft are no more dishonest than BMW were when they shafted Rover.

In general, I'd urge you to keep buying Cadbury products. Their continued sales will help; a drop in sales will take Cadbury and possibly Kraft down and that helps nobody.

Don't forget, the company Kraft bought was not George Cadbury's cosy family business from the 1890's. It was a multi-national corporation, employing 45000 people in 44 countries across the globe - most of them acquired in the same way Kraft have acquired Cadbury. Cadbury's was sold in the '60's when it floated (or whenever it was).

Don't get me wrong, I don't support Kraft. I think a well run and successful business should be able to resist hostile take-overs better, but in this case a boycott and downer on the products helps nobody. (As opposed to my personal refusal to buy a BMW.)
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Old March 5th, 2010, 02:30 PM   #56
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JOBS have been plunged into jeopardy at Cadbury’s historic Bournville site just a month after Kraft’s controversial £11.7 billion takeover.

And to add to the gloom industry experts today predicted there would be more to come.

A 90-day formal consultation programme has been launched with a total of 150 white collar jobs in the legal, finance and communications departments at risk across the chocolate manufacturer’s sites in Birmingham and Uxbridge.

The consultation is the first over proposed job losses at Cadbury since the US giant successfully completed its hostile takeover following a bitter five-month battle.

Kraft have not said how many jobs are likely to go at Bournville, where around 2,500 workers are based.

A total of 400 employees are based at Uxbridge, Cadbury’s UK head office. A statement from Cadbury said: “When Kraft first started making the acquisition it openly said it was to combine headquarters operations.

“The company is reviewing its global corporate functions which overlap and where possible use the best of both approaches to retain talented employees.

“The consultation affects the global corporate functions. Cadbury was a FTSE company but Kraft is not listed in the UK so the function will no longer exist.”

Regional business expert Professor David Bailey, from Coventry University Business School, predicted more cutbacks from Kraft.

“This is not a surprise, we were expecting this. The company has paid a huge amount for Cadbury and they will be looking for £1 billion a year upwards in cost savings – we speculated that head office roles would be at risk and there is no real surprise at all.

“Also this might impact on the marketing function at Bournville and that would be no surprise. In terms of cutbacks there will be more to come. The company will be looking to reduce the overlap. Clearly the takeover and the delisting will reduce the need for certain roles.

“There will be significant attempts to reduce duplication. They will continue to review the scale of cost-savings.

“I think short term Bournville is safe as a production site.”
http://www.birminghammail.net/news/b...7319-25964692/
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Old March 31st, 2010, 05:45 PM   #57
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Last episode of an interesting documentary series on R4 'Cadbury is Our Longbridge' about the Somersdale plant http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rmthx

Irene Rosenfeld, Kraft's chairman and chief executive, has been awarded a $26m (£17.2m) pay and bonus pot in part for the company's "exceptional" £11.9bn acquisition of Cadbury.

Greed at it's most obscene

Last edited by U475 Foxtrot; March 31st, 2010 at 06:00 PM.
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Old April 8th, 2010, 12:18 AM   #58
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Kraft ordered to keep their promises to Cadbury workers

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KRAFT must be forced to keep its promise to continue making Dairy Milk bars in Britain, a powerful Commons committee has warned.

The Government should monitor US food giant Kraft’s management of the Birmingham-based chocolate giant, said the business, innovation and skills select committee.

In particular, ministers must ensure Kraft lives up to a series of undertakings it made following its £12 billion takeover of the firm in February, including a pledge not to shift production of Dairy Milk abroad.

The popular chocolate brand is currently produced at Cadbury’s iconic Bournville factory.

But the committee, chaired by Worcestershire MP Peter Luff (Con Mid Worcestershire), was highly critical of the takeover – warning it was motivated by “short-term profits” rather than the long-term interest of Cadbury.

It called for a review of legislation to ensure takeovers were in the best interests of the UK economy.

MPs highlighted commitments made by Kraft including:

n Continuing to manage Cadbury from within the UK and to produce Dairy Milk and other products here.

n No further compulsory redundancies among manufacturing employees and no additional plant closures in the UK for at least two years.

n Maintaining Cadbury’s research and development facilities in the UK.

The committee’s report said: “Kraft gave us a number of undertakings in respect of the future of Cadbury.

“These commitments are now in the public domain and will be subject to close scrutiny over the next few years. We recommend the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills monitors Kraft’s compliance with its undertakings, and particularly those relating to Cadbury’s world-class research and development facilities.

“We express our concern that the takeover of Cadbury by Kraft was ultimately decided by institutional investors motivated by short-term profits rather than those investors who had the company’s long-term interests at heart.”
http://www.birminghammail.net/news/b...7319-26189177/
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Old April 8th, 2010, 12:57 AM   #59
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Two years really isn't much... That'll be just about enough time for them to survey the whole of Cadbury's and decide what's good to close down and chop up.
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Old April 8th, 2010, 09:55 AM   #60
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IIRC Heinz were obliged to make no redundancies for a year after they bought HP from Danone. We all know the rest.
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