Kraft set for Cadbury deal as workers fret over jobs

* Kraft set to seal Cadbury takeover deal

* Cadbury workers look to protect jobs

* Deadline 1300 GMT for Cadbury shareholders

* Cost savings seen leading to job cuts

By David Jones

LONDON, Feb 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Kraft Foods (KFT.N: ) is set to
receive enough acceptances from Cadbury (CBRY.L: ) shareholders to
seal its 11.7 billion pounds ($18.6 billion) takeover by around
1700 GMT Tuesday and start the tough integration of Cadbury’s
45,000 worldwide employees.

The North American foods group is expected to win more than
75 percent of votes for the deal at which level it can delist
Cadbury shares in London, but it only needs 50 percent plus one
share to take control of Cadbury and declare victory.

Cadbury shareholders have until 1300 GMT to cast their votes
and with the deal recommended by the Cadbury board and no rival
bidders envisaged, the takeover of the British confectioner is
expected to be declared complete some four hours later.

“We would expect Kraft to win comfortable support for the
deal given it’s agreed and the supportive comments from Cadbury
shareholders,” said an industry source close to the situation.

Meanwhile, Cadbury’s workers gathered in central London at
midday Tuesday to urge the British government to do all they can
to protect Cadbury’s 4,500 UK workforce and future investment at
its British sites as they join with Kraft’s 98,000 global staff.

During an acrimonious near five-month bid battle, Cadbury
Chairman Roger Carr has attacked Kraft’s business model,
financial performance and record of integrating businesses
leaving Kraft’s CEO Irene Rosenfeld to try and soothe worries.

Rosenfeld is expected to outline her strategy to win the
hearts and mind of Cadbury’s staff, while delivering the cost
savings and revenue growth she has promised to keep her largest
shareholder Warren Buffett happy. [ID:nN29234200].

She has promised $675 million of annual cost savings from
the deal, which will mean job cuts, analysts said.

Cadbury’s annual sales are only one fifth of Kraft but the
British group will be a major driver for growth at a combined
company with over $50 billion of sales. Kraft will still be the
world’s No 2 food group after Nestle (NESN.VX: ) but leapfrog
Mars-Wrigley to be the world’s biggest confectionery group.

For a graphic comparing Cadbury share price to the Kraft bid:

Kraft agreed its friendly deal to buy Cadbury on Jan. 19 in
an offer that valued Cadbury shares at 840 pence with 60 percent
of the price coming as cash and the rest in new Kraft shares
[ID:nL9294700]. With the fall in Kraft shares, the current value
of the bid is around 830p a Cadbury share.

Last month, potential Cadbury bidders like Hershey (HSY.N: ),
Italy’s Ferrero and Nestle ruled out bids leaving the field
clear for Kraft to complete its deal for the British group.

A Kraft-Cadbury combination will bring together Cadbury’s
Dairy Milk chocolate, Halls cough drops and Trident gum with
Kraft’s portfolio of Milka and Toblerone chocolates, Oreo
biscuits, Maxwell House coffee and Philadelphia cheese.
($1=.6278 Pounds)

Investing Research

(Editing by Mike Nesbit)

Kraft set for Cadbury deal as workers fret over jobs