Page last updated at 23:18 GMT, Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Mandelson's 'disappointment' after Kraft meeting

Lord Mandelson: "I didn't receive specific commitments"

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has said he is "disappointed" that food giant Kraft would not commit to managing Cadbury's brands in the UK.

Lord Mandelson spoke after a meeting with Kraft boss Irene Rosenfeld.

He said he was glad of the personal meeting, but would now be looking for "much harder, more specific commitments in the next three to six months".

Their talks took place less than two hours after Kraft secured shareholder backing for its takeover of Cadbury.

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

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

Workers' protests

Lord Mandelson said: "I'm glad now to be in personal touch but what I will be looking for are much harder, more specific commitments in the next three to six months.

"I was disappointed that she was unable to confirm that Cadbury's confectionery brands will continue to be managed and operated globally out of the UK.

"On the other hand she said that she expects Britain to be a net gainer in manufacturing output and employment so that was encouraging, but what we've got to do now is to remain in close touch."

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

Shadow Business Secretary Ken Clarke held a meeting with Ms Rosenfeld on Tuesday evening "to seek her assurances that the traditions of Cadbury's and its workforce will be continued under her stewardship".

Mr Clarke said: "I have discussed with Mrs Rosenfeld and her team their hopes and expectations that Cadbury's will continue to flourish and prosper in the UK and worldwide now that it is in partnership with Kraft.

"I will be visiting [Cadbury at] Bournville shortly when I hope to discuss further the assurances which Mrs Rosenfeld has offered."

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