Felicity Loudon, fifth-generation of the founding Cadbury family, said the news that Cadbury has agreed the terms of a takeover by Kraft was awful. "It's a horror story," she told the BBC this morning.
Although Cadbury in no longer owned by the Cadbury family, Loudon highlighted that the philanthropic side of the business is still important and might be lost when the UK-based company is incorporated into the US-confectionary giant. "I don't think Kraft will understand the philanthropic side of this, and if this [the bid] continues it will be swallowed up and turned into plastic," she said.
Loudon also said that she had "no idea" how much of the business the family currently controlled but admitted she had no influence whatsoever.
Both companies confirmed today they have agreed the terms of the £11.9 billion takeover deal, five months after the initial hostile bid launched by Kraft. The Cadbury board publicly rejected initial offers and launched a sustained defence against the takeover, remaining opposed to the move until just this week. (Click here to read our coverage of the bid and the families behind it)
Cadbury chairman Roger Carr explained the change in stance. "We believe the offer represents good value for Cadbury shareholders and are pleased with the commitment that Kraft has made to out heritage, values and people throughout the world," he said.
Cadbury was founded in Birmingham, England in 1824 by Loudon's great-great-grandfather John Cadbury. The family pioneered many employee benefit schemes, championed better working conditions for workers across the country and were even involved in early anti-slavery movements.
Upon the conclusion of the takeover the combined Kraft/Cadbury company will be one of the world's largest confectionary companies alongside family-controlled Mars.
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