Kraft Closing UK Cadbury Plant

Company said Tuesday that it will close Cadbury's Somerdale plant which it had previously hoped to keep open.

LONDON (AP) -- Kraft Foods Inc. said Tuesday that it will close Cadbury's Somerdale plant in the United Kingdom as the British candy company originally planned, saying the plans were too far advanced to reverse.

Kraft, which got final approval this month to acquire Cadbury, previously said it hoped to keep the facility open.

But Kraft, based in Northfield, Ill., determined during extensive talks with Cadbury leaders that the process of closing the facility was too far along and will close it by 2011 as planned.

Kraft did not immediately disclose how many workers will be affected at the plant in Keynsham, near Bristol.

The company said Cadbury had already invested $157 million (100 pounds) in building new production facilities in Poland and the majority of its lines have been transferred there -- or will be by midyear.

"While this is a difficult decision, we have moved quickly to end any further uncertainty," Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld said in a statement Tuesday.

Kraft's acquisition of Cadbury had many workers and unions worried about job cuts. But Kraft said it remains committed to investing 30 million pounds to improve its factory in Bournville and will review its combined manufacturing network over the next six months.

Shares of Kraft rose 61 cents, or more than 2 percent, to $28.97 in early afternoon trading.

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