NORTHFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Cadbury PLC shareholders have voted to approve Kraft Foods Inc.'s roughly $19.5 billion offer to acquire the British candy maker.
The majority vote marks the final step in Kraft's months-long battle to acquire the company. The deal creates of the world's largest confectionary company and greatly expands Kraft's global reach.
Kraft said Tuesday that nearly 72 percent of Cadbury shareholders approved the deal.
Cadbury stockholders 500 pence cash and 0.1874 new Kraft shares for each of its Cadbury shares under the terms.
The deal does not require a vote by Kraft's shareholders. It is expected to close this month.
Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld is expected to meet with Britain's Business Secretary Peter Mandelson on Tuesday to discuss the company's "commitment to the company and its employees," a spokeswoman from the minister's office said.
Hundreds of Cadbury workers uncertain about their future protested the takeover in London's Westminster area, calling for guarantees for their jobs and conditions once the company comes under new ownership.
Some protesters chanted "Keep Our Jobs," while others held up banners which read "Don't Sell Us Out."
"Our fear is that the Kraft takeover is not in the national interest, and in the months of this hostile takeover process we have heard nothing from Kraft to calm fears that it is in the interest of the Cadbury work force either," said Jack Dromey, Unite's deputy general secretary.