"In view of the remedies offered, I am satisfied that the proposed takeover would not adversely affect competition anywhere in Europe and that consumers would not be worse off", said Neelie Kroes, EU Competition Commissioner.
Kraft is a worldwide food and beverage company active in more than 150 countries. Cadbury is a worldwide producer and seller of chocolate and sugar confectionery products in over 60 countries.
Both Kraft and Cadbury are important players in the chocolate confectionary business in south-east Europe. With its main chocolate brands Milka, Côte d'Or and Toblerone, Kraft has a very strong presence in most Member States, except United Kingdom and Ireland where consumers prefer the traditional British chocolate.
Cadbury is a market leader in UK and Ireland with its Dairy Milk brand, while in continental Europe it is mainly active in France, Poland, Romania and Portugal through local brands it previously acquired.
Kraft operates in Romania since 1994 after it acquired Brasov-based Poiana Confectionery factory, renamed afterwards Jacobs Suschard Romania S.A. In 2000, Kraft Jacobs Suschard changes name into Kraft Foods Romania.
Kraft is one of the largest food and drinks company in the world with annual revenues of over $37 billion and employs around 100,000. It has over 180 production units across the world. The company is member of the Dow Jones, Standard & Poor’s 500, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Ethibel Sustainability Index.
Cadbury Schweppes is active in Romania after it acquired in 2007 the Romanian confectioner Kandia Excelent.
However, the Commission identified competition concerns within chocolate confectionery in Poland and Romania, where the combined market share of Kraft/Cadbury is particularly high and their brands are competing closely, in particular in the chocolate tablets markets. Kraft committed to divest Cadbury's Polish confectionery business marketed under the Wedel brand and Cadbury's domestic chocolate confectionery business in Romania.
On December 14, Cadbury has dismissed the bid from Kraft Foods, saying the offer was not reasonable, and added it expected revenues to grow at an annual rate of 5-7% in the coming four years. The chocolate maker said its assets worth more than the £10 billion (€11.1 million) bid Kraft made in November. Cadbury said it has been approached by other bidders, but refused to make them public.
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