Editor’s blog: Cadbury goes the same way as our cars

I’m annoyed and sad about what’s happening to Cadbury – though some of the responses have been pathetic.

So that’s that then: it’s all over bar the photoshoot. Irene Rosenfeld will appear strolling the streets of Bournville, meeting the quaint little Brummie chocolatiers, gripping her Curly Wurly, declaring she’s held a secret, lifelong devotion to Creme Eggs and really respects their fine Quakery CSR heritage. Then she’s back to the grim office in Northfield, Illinois – never to darken the UK’s shores again – to work out how on earth she’s going take the axe to the cost base in a rearguard effort to pay the interest bills on that £7bn.

I’m not going to pretend that I’m not annoyed and a little sad about Cadbury’s fate, even if it was probably right to let the market do its work. Some are saying the board gave Cadbury away and should have gone for at least £9 per share. But the most important thing is that there goes another part of UK business down the same route as our car industry, Pilkington, P&O, Abbey, BAA, Manchester United, O2… the list goes on.

The faint bleats of protest from the Cadbury family were a bit pathetic – if they don’t like the cut of the Oreo-wielder’s jib, they shouldn’t have cashed-in their chips and taken the company public in the first place – which has enabled several generations of Cadburys to live in genteel comfort.

But the prize for the most fatuous meaningless response to the news comes from our PM. ‘The one thing I want to say is this: we are determined that the levels of investment that take place in Cadbury in the United Kingdom are maintained’. A more empty and futile piece of willy-waving it would be hard to imagine. What on earth is HMG going to do to stand in Kraft’s way now?

The banks who’ve done the advising will be laughing all the way to their strongrooms, of course. You can bet that the Masters of the Universe at Lazard, Centerview Partners, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS have been making out like bandits after toiling until 3am on this one. The same goes for all those hedge funds who’ve been racking up Cadbury shares.

On the subject of unfortunate takeovers by those from abroad, I should be rejoicing today as my club West Ham has now been taken back from its feckless Icelandic owners and is once again in British hands. This would be all well and good if it hadn’t fallen into the clutches of a couple of pornographers (one of whom supports Tottenham). A colleague here has already renamed them Chest Ham. You just can’t win if you’re a Brit these days.