Kraft VP to be questioned over Cadbury factory closure
Marc Firestone, vice-president of US food giant, Kraft, will appear before MPs on the Business Select Committee today.
Mr Firestone will be questioned by MP’s over the company’s takeover of Cadbury. Kraft completed its takeover of the 186-year-old iconic British confectioner on 2 February after a five-month battle.
Earlier this month, the US food giant was investigated by the City takeover panel about whether it made misleading comments at the time of its takeover of Cadbury.
Kraft, which made several hostile bids for Cadbury before shareholders finally agreed to a deal, initially said a takeover of Cadbury would secure UK jobs, while keeping open its Somerdale factory in Keynsham.
However, shortly after the £11.5 billion deal had been agreed, Kraft said the factory, near Bristol, would close with the loss of 400 jobs.
Unite’s deputy general secretary, Jack Dromey, will give evidence to the committee today and he is expected to call for a ‘Cadbury’s Law’, which is aimed at preventing hostile takeovers of British companies that are not in the interest of the public.
Jennie Formby, national officer for Unite, added: “There is a great deal of uncertainty amongst the 6,000-strong workforce and Kraft need to reassure them as to their future employment.”
As a result, Mr Firestone will face tough questions about Kraft’s decision to continue with the closure of the factory.
Peter Luff, the Chairman of the Business Select Committee, said MPs want to know why Kraft went back on its pledge, and wanted it to clarify its position.
Kraft, which is renowned for brands such as Kenco coffee and Oreo biscuits, is one of the world’s biggest food and beverage companies with annual revenues exceeding $37 billion.