Kraft faces Cadbury jobs pledge investigation

Kraft Foods is to be investigated by UK regulators into whether it misled Cadbury’s employees during its takeover bid.

The Panel on Takeovers and Mergers is looking into statements made by Kraft executives about the future of Cadbury’s Somerdale factory, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In an initial takeover letter Kraft is said to have pledged to keep the factory open, but last month the food giant revealed that the site would be closed by 2011.

The closure of the Somerdale plant in Keynsham, near Bristol could lead to the loss of 400 jobs.

Up to 150 jobs are also under threat at Cadbury’s offices in Uxbridge, west London, and Bournville in Birmingham as Kraft looks to remove duplicated roles, the Guardian reported.

If Kraft is found to have breached the panel’s code, it could face a private or public “statement of censure”. The panel has no powers to intervene in the bid or impose fines.

A spokesman for Kraft said: “Throughout the transaction, it has never been our policy to comment on the UK takeover panel. Any questions should be addressed to the panel itself.”

In January Kraft bought Cadbury for £11.9bn.

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