Cadbury gets sweet on Romania

By Charlotte Eyre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Confectionery Chewing gum Cadbury schweppes

Cadbury Schweppes has bought a 93 per cent stake in Romanian sweets
maker Kandia-Excelent, from Kandia, a private equity investment
holding company managed by Meinl Bank.

The move is part of a series of emerging-market acquisitions and reshuffles as the company tries to improve profit margins, particularly in its confectionery divisions.

"The purchase of Kandia-Excelent is aligned with our strategy of pursuing bolt-on acquisitions to further strengthen our confectionery platform," said Todd Stitzer, Cadbury's chief executive officer.

Kandia-Excelent is the second largest confectionery company in Romania, with a 20 per cent market share in total confectionery, according to the report.

It has a number two position in the chocolate market with a 24 per cent share, and a leading position in candy with a 32 per cent share.

It has been producing chocolate since 1890, and has predicted 2007 sales of 50m, thanks to the popularity of products such as Kandia, Laura and Anda.

Stitzer said that Cadbury hope to build on Kandia-Excelent's established success, adding, "this acquisition gives us an exciting opportunity to further develop their leading brands and leverage their strong routes to market."

The purchase of Kandia-Excelent follows hot on the heels of the acquisition of Turkish Intergum, announced only one day earlier.

Intergum is one of the world's top five chewing gum manufacturers, supplying several international supermarket chains within the EU and the US.

Other restructuring plans announced this year include the separation of Cadbury's confectionery and Americas beverages businesses, announced in March.

Last week, Cadbury sold businesses in Australia, Italy and Canada, and split operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa into two areas of responsibility.

This will result in the dismissal of nine senior executives, including Simon Baldry, who was in charge of the UK confectionery business during the salmonella scandal in June 2006.

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