Thursday, February 4, 2010

(( End of an Era ))


The cut throat world of business is not one for the faint-hearted. Maybe now more than ever, running a business requires a certain type of thinking. The biggest threat of course are your rivals. The ones doing the same thing as you. The choices are simple. Beat them or Buy them! This has been the case with the recent events concerning one of the oldest companies in the world. The chocolate makers Cadbury.

This company was founded 186 years ago by John Cadbury in the Midlands City of Birmingham. From a small shop, he grew the business into the huge global company it is today. Of course being a large global company means that the one or two other large global companies may feel that they are losing out in some way. So in steps huge USA company Kraft, who in 2008 really wanted that firm for themselves. Rather like a child pressing their nose up against the window of...well...a sweet shop!

So the offers and negotiations began. The offering of money to shareholders was the most viable way of 'sweetening' the deal. After the first couple of offers from Kraft the management at Cadbury stood firm and gave a resounding 'NO' to the crafty people at Kraft. They stood firm and refused to budge. The great British firm was safe from the meddling 'Yanks'!

Then something happened. The crafty Kraft people offered even more money. They thought that this would help melt the stubbornness of the management and shareholders. Hey Guess what? It did! Cadbury accepted the deal, realising that those with lots of share will stand to make loads of cash. Suddenly all that gritty patronism and steadfast solidarity did indeed melt like a bar of Dairy Milk on the dashboard of a car on a summer's day. The boys and girls at Cadbury flaked!! Such is the power of money eh? So a great British institution, which has flown the flag of the UK for 186 years has been snapped up in the blink of an eye. Well almost. As they still do not fully own the company, then they can not say that Cadbury is part of the Kraft Group. They merely are the chief owners. A subtle difference maybe, but it should prevent Kraft from messing with the branding and design of the products...for the time being.

Of course the big worry now is how this takeover will affect jobs. It is only a matter of time before cost-cutting measures are taken and it is inevitable the the birthplace of Cadbury (Bournville in Birmingham) will suffer job losses. They say it will not happen, but we all know it will.

My feeling is of sadness, as here in the UK we have so little of our own industry or commercial enterprise still intact. Most is owned by the USA, China...and Russia! I suppose this is the way business is done these days. It is the price we must pay for globalisation, but for me I feel that it is a slightly too high price to pay, when a chunk of Britain's past is broken off and gobbled up.

.....................(Misterduncan)..................................

5 comments:

Mena Sam said...

Hello Mr. Duncan,
Thanks alot for your interesting lessons, it is very useful for me.
I am from Egypt and I will be happy to meet you if you are willing to visit Egypt

gr1603 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gr1603 said...

I completely agree with you Misterduncan. It is really sad to have to admit that what do more matters above everything is the money, only and just the money. What about a country's history? It doesn't matter, it does matter globalisation in a sad belief it is the right way to grasp more and more interesting and new opportunities. It is needed to start thinking of new way of imaging our lives; it's needed to us and to those who will come after us. It's important to start weighing up the value of our history before than our trade activities. The first is often, in all ways, more precious than the second.

Gus Ferrera Lópz (Ferlopzz Gustave) said...

You've touched my conservative part: Like saying Philips, Grundig or... Do we stil have Kit-Kat there? I say 'we' as the Europeans we are said to be...
I should send you a video for letting you know here it's been more radical.
Happy Sunday anyway, 'Quality Street' (a classical) is already sold as one of the first ones.

sir_flipflop said...

oh my goodnesss... is this true? i can't believe that the owner was willing to sell the proudness and legacy of british-born company to american...
Cadbury is very popular worldwide. i still remember that i will buy a Cadbury chocolate every thursday as i walking home from school. eating cadbury when your body and brain are in a complete fatigue is so enjoyable... i really hope that there will be another entrepeneuer from Britain that will grab back that company...
Alanflipflop- Malaysian...