LONDON (AP) — Three top officials at Cadbury PLC announced Wednesday their intention to step down, after the British candy maker's shareholders approved Kraft Foods Inc.'s roughly $19.5 billion offer to acquire the company.
Todd Stitzer would leave his post as chief executive officer, following a 27-year career at the company, Cadbury said in a statement. Chief Financial Officer Andrew Bonfield, who joined the company last year, and Chairman Roger Carr also said they were resigning.
The effective date of the three men's resignation has not been determined, Cadbury said.
The executives had opposed the takeover and criticized Kraft's offer for weeks, saying the bid by the world's second-largest food maker undervalued the company. They finally agreed to the takeover when Kraft raised its offer by 9 percent to $19.5 billion.
"I wish (Kraft chief executive) Irene Rosenfeld and her team every success in taking Cadbury and its brands forward," Stitzer said in the statement. "They have pledged they will do their utmost to preserve Cadbury's unique performance-driven, values-led heritage, and I urge all my colleagues to do their utmost to help them in this special task."
Kraft announced Tuesday that nearly 72 percent of Cadbury shareholders voted in support of the deal — the final step in creating a merged global food giant.
Together, the companies have roughly $50 billion in annual revenue through sales in 160 countries with their product lineup, which ranges from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese to Cadbury's Creme Eggs.
The deal gives Kraft access to critical growing international markets like India and Latin America where Cadbury thrives and ups its presence in the lucrative candy and gum market.