Wednesday, 20 January 2010
A GLASS AND A HALF OF MILK IN EVERY REDUNDANCY PACKAGE
As usual, when there is a takeover or merger story, with the probability of hundreds or maybe thousands of job losses, amalgamations and relocations for people at the bottom who have no say whatsoever in the outcome... there is a tale of greed and avarice for the man at the top who has a great deal of say. Such is life...
And so it is with the latest story of a British company being bought over.
Todd Stitzer, the American chief executive of Cadbury will receive: a £12m pay off; a year’s salary of £985,000; a bonus of around £2m, and the right to cash in shares worth £8.6 m. So it’s a pretty fair bet that he thought it a not bad idea, and that come Monday morning Mr Stitzer will not be queuing to sign on for £60 a week at the local Dole Office!
Cadbury's resistance to the takeover melted yesterday as Kraft Foods, known for Dairylea and Philadelphia cheese, increased its offer to £8.40 a share. Investors will also get a 10p a share dividend, taking the bill to £11.9 billion. Cadbury employs around 45,000 people in 60 countries. It has 5,600 staff at eight sites in the UK and Ireland.
Cadbury chairman Roger Carr said the board was recommending acceptance even though it inevitably meant job losses. He did not say how many jobs would be threatened but said the axe would fall at Cadbury's HQ in London.
Workers at the company's landmark Bournville plant in Birmingham had no idea what is going on or what it might mean in terms of job losses. Jennie Formby of the union Unite said: "This is a very sad day for UK manufacturing. A successful, iconic, independent UK brand will now be owned by a giant company with massive debt. The sad truth is Kraft will be under pressure to pay down their debts and this raises real fears for jobs."
Gordon Brown promised to fight for Cadbury's British workers. He said: "We are determined that, at a time when people are worried about their jobs, jobs in Cadbury can be secure." And Business Secretary Mr Mandelson said he would do everything he could to keep Kraft to the undertakings that have been given.
I imagine that a huge sigh of relief will be heard from miles away at the utterances of these two. Meatime it's reassuring to know that at least Todd will be alright!