Kraft to sell Cadbury factory for £50 million

March 22, 2011 | by | 7 Comments

American food giant Kraft sparked fresh outrage today by selling the site of an historic Cadbury factory it vowed not to close – for £50million.

Kraft to sell Cadbury factory for £50 million

The Somerdale site in Keynsham, near Bristol, was closed within days of Kraft’s £11.7billion takeover of Cadbury in 2009, despite pledges it would be saved.

Now the company has put 64 acres of land on the market with outline proposals to build 600 homes on the site.

The move comes days after Kraft’s CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, refused to appear before a committee of MPs at Westminster to explain her actions during the takeover.

Today former Cadbury workers hit out at the firm’s ”broken promises” and demanded Ms Rosenfeld apologise to sacked British staff.

Vince Frankcom, 51, was made redundant from the Somerdale plant last year after 11 years as a ”maker” on the production line.

Mr Frankcom, now a self-employed property maintenance worker, said: ”There is a lot of anger here at the broken promises from Kraft.

”This was a very famous factory – me and my family had worked there for years – and it was a fantastic company to work for.

”It’s now upsetting to see the factory sold – a lot of us feel let down. I feel sorry for the younger generation.

”Irene Rosenfeld should be made to apologise.

”Kraft should now put some money into industry on the site – at least that would give something back to the community.”

The former Cadbury factory site was officially put up for sale on Saturday.

Kraft is selling off 64 acres – roughly the size of 40 football pitches – of the 220 acre site, which is the only part described as ”developable”.

The acres earmarked for development include the former factory buildings and car park and some fields.

The other 156 acres have been ruled out as they are liable to flooding.

Just a handful of the 400 people who were working at Somerdale are still on the site and are in the process of dismantling the factory machinery and cleaning up the building.

The last Curly Wurly rolled off the production line at the beginning of January and production has been moved from Keynsham to Poland.

Developers are being asked to bid for the freehold of the site and have until May 12 to make an offer.

The Cadbury Fry Club, for past and present workers, is to relocated to another part of the site.

The club, which has more than 600 members along with 13 football pitches, four cricket pitches and a nine-hole golf course, is expected to be rebuilt within four years.

BNP Paribas Real Estate, which is selling the land on behalf of Kraft, said the deadline for offers is midday on May 11.

Andrew Taylor, a director at BNP Paribas Real Estate, said: ”We have been working with Cadbury and Kraft Foods for a number of years to identify development opportunities for the site.

”The site represents a unique opportunity for a mixed-use scheme that which could contribute massively to the local demand for housing and generate significant job opportunities.”

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Comments (7)

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  1. Richard says:

    Why would anyone want to build 600 houses when the areas biggest employer has shut down and people are having to move out of the area to find work?

    50m for 64 acres (which will need clearing) is very expensive. 600 homes on 64 acres, once you add roads, pavements, etc will be shoehorned in.

    Anybody like to help me raise some capital to buy this plant and get it manufacturing again? (not just chocolate, it has other “features” as well).

  2. DicewDeath says:

    Richard – you and I should Chair this and get everyone sacked plus any others to raise the Capital and get it back up and running.

    - Oh and boycott Kraft!

  3. Matteo says:

    I will never buy another Cadbury or Kraft bar again, Kit-Kat’s are still made in the UK so I will stick with them.

  4. Joan M. says:

    Furious! Bought 3 Cadbury Eggs…1 was OK, other 1 had a very little filling &
    it was hard & stale. The other one – STALE! If this is the outcome of Kraft
    buying Cadbury out…..People should stop buying ANY Eggs from now on.

    Not only smaller, high priced & now stale! J. Morrison

  5. Anonymous says:

    welcome to 277 gladstone ave in toronto if these incompetents dont get it right. Half of this management still needs two learn what chocolate is and the other half not in this life-time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    So sad what Kraft have done to the Cadbury’s name and the country where it originated. The chocolate has not tasted the same for several years now and as for the new shape…I do not like it.
    Regrettably, I shall not be purchasing Cadbury’s produce again.

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