Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Cadbury grandson's sadness over Kraft takeover


Sir Dominic Cadbury, 69, who retired as chairman in 2000, said the country had lost something special

On the deadline day for Cadbury shareholders to accept a £11.5bn offer from Kraft, the last member of the Cadbury family dynasty to sit on the company board has spoken of his sadness over the situation.

Sir Dominic Cadbury, 69, grandson of factory founder George, retired as chairman in 2000 but said he still had a strong emotional attachment to it.

He said: "There has to be something wrong with the fact that it was so easy to acquire the company.

"I think the long-term value of Cadbury has not been reflected."

Sir Dominic said the brand would lose the appeal it once had.

The Quaker Cadbury family created the Bournville factory site in the 19th Century as somewhere workers could have decent working conditions.

'Personally sad'

Sir Dominic said the brand had lost "something of the value that couldn't be measured in just whether it was just another 50p [in share price] here, or 50p there".

He added: "Personally, and from my family's point of view, I'm very sad this has happened."

On Tuesday, Cadbury staff were gathering in London ahead of the announcement about the shareholders' decision on the merger.

If the takeover goes ahead, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson will meet Irene Rosenfeld, Kraft's chief executive, to discuss jobs.

Sir Dominic said the fate of the factory's Somerdale plant in Keynsham, near Bristol, would be a test of Kraft's trustworthiness.

Cadbury had planned to close the factory and shift production to Poland, but Kraft said it would be saved under their control.

Sir Dominic said: "They will have to decide very quickly whether they continue with the Cadbury plan, or whether - as they have implied - they will reverse that decision.

"I think that will be a very interesting test of Cadbury's management.

"That might give an indication of how reliable they are, in terms of keeping to their word."

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