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Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Kraft plan another asset stripping of our nation's confectionery manufacturers

A TAKEOVER of Cadbury by Kraft would threaten the “long-term survival” of the chocolate maker’s historic Bournville factory and its 2,500 jobs, it is claimed.

A local Councillor who represents the Bournville, Cotteridge and Stirchley ward for the Tories, issued a dire warning over the future of the factory if the US giant forces through a takeover.

Kraft has so far seen its initial £10.2 billion bid for Cadbury rejected by the chocolate maker but City experts predict the approach could now trigger a bidding war for the UK group.

The councillor who is also prospective Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Selly Oak, said: “Cadbury is now one of our great British brands and world leading companies."

“It would be a tragedy if it was allowed to be taken over by an American food giant."

“This country simply cannot afford to let yet another great British company fall into the hands of foreign ownership."

“We have lost so many of these kinds of companies over the last 40 years."

"Either they go bust, like our car industry, or they fall under foreign control as was the fate of such icons as ICI, British Oxygen and Rolls Royce."

"No matter what assurances they get a takeover would threaten the long term survival of the Cadbury factory in Bournville and that would be a disaster for Bournville and for Birmingham.”

He further said Kraft had “no particular allegiance to Birmingham or Bournville.

“Kraft are a huge predatory American company. Americans are what Americans are. If they can move manufacturing elsewhere in their empire at better profits, they will."

“This is scary. In the long-term, I would fear for the level of activity at Cadbury. We have so few large manufacturing companies left in this country.”

Speculation is mounting that the world’s other big confectionery groups, including Nestle, Mars and Hershey, could now come in with their own bids for Cadbury in the wake of Kraft’s rejected takeover approach.

The fact Cadburys is still a public limited company and this is a hostile bid, unless Kraft withdraws or increases their measly offer, or unless other bidders now enter the bidding, then there is a simple process and the shareholders will be asked if they want to take the present price on offer after the Cadbury board issues its own written advice and its own proposals.

However, as in other industries, the company threatened could launch a counter bid, i.e Cadbury to buy out Kraft. Their bankers should be able to offer finance to Cadbury, based solely on the assets of the target company.

We could follow that by relocating much of Kraft to The West Midlands on the wastelands produced by the state engineered Longbridge car industry collapse and thus boosting our economy here no end.

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