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Discussion and analysis of the latest economic issues.

By Sean O'Grady, Economics Editor of The Independent.

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It's about saving a company, not a British institution

Posted by Sean O'Grady
  • Monday, 7 September 2009 at 11:01 am
 Will there be a national outcry over the Kraft takeover of Cadbury? I’m not sure there should be. It’s a obviously a bit of a shame to see another great British brand name go abroad, joining Mini (Germany), Jaguar (India),  Harry Ramsdens (Australia), Abbey National/Bradford & Bingley/Alliance & Leicester (Spain) and the Body Shop (France), to name but a few.

We can’t afford to be too sentimental here. Cadburys is a pretty successful manufacturing business, one of the very few left in British control, and we ought to hope that it can survive, and expand as such. I’d prefer that. But what really matters is the jobs and prosperity that the business brings to Birmingham and the other UK operations.

As it happens, I’m not so convinced that Kraft will be able to do any better than the existing set-up, but that’s where they debate needs to be, leaving aside the householders’ interests for the timing being. Way back in 1988, there was a huge national storm when Nestle bought Rowntrees, and it’s true that the Swiss didn’t allow their firms to be attacked as easily as we did ours, and there were some competition concerns. Yet if you go abroad much you’ll see more Kit Kats and the like on sale than we used to see, which must say something for the benefits Nestle brought to the York-based Rowntree concern. More Cadburys Creme Eggs and Wispas sold in Europe and the rest of the world would be a good thing. The question of foreign ownership ought to be secondary to the long term interests of a business.

On that point, Kraft has yet to win the argument, but it is a debate worth having. 

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herbtibb wrote:
Monday, 14 September 2009 at 01:14 pm (UTC)
The Investments made by Kraft in the last few years seem to have been fairly successful. Lets hope it doesnt ruin Cadbury?
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