Kraft Sells Polish Cadbury Unit To Japan's Lotte Group

NORTHFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Kraft Foods Inc. has agreed to sell a Polish candy business it acquired through its acquisition of Cadbury to Japanese conglomerate Lotte Group.

The food maker did not disclose terms of the deal for Cadbury's E. Wedel business in a news release Monday.

The company, based in Northfield, Ill., said it had to sell the business and another one in Romania as part of the European Commission's approval of its Cadbury buyout. The company said the sale of the Romanian business will be announced later.

The sale announced Monday includes Cadbury's E. Wedel-branded chocolate and sugar confectionary operations, related brands and a manufacturing facility in Warsaw. About 1,000 Cadbury Wedel employees will transfer to Lotte Group.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.

Kraft paid $19.5 billion for the British candy maker in February.

Kraft said it will keep the remaining Cadbury business in Poland. That includes the Halls brand and other chocolate and sugar confectionery products sold in Poland and two manufacturing plants in Skarbimierz. 

The company said, subject to the European Commission's approval, it will keep a third Cadbury plant in Bielany Wroclawskie, Poland.

Lotte Group, which is based in Tokyo, has annual sales of about $40 billion and was founded as a chewing gum maker. It now sells food and candy, and deals in retail, tourism, finance and other sectors. Its confectionary brands include well-known Asian brands such as Koala March, Ghana and Xylitol.

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