Kraft Looks Set To Swallow Up Cadbury

Board members of the British chocolate maker Cadbury have accepted the offer by American food giant Kraft. If shareholders approve the deal, about $19 billion, it would instantly make Kraft Foods Inc. the world's biggest candy company.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with the chocolate merger of the century.

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INSKEEP: The American food giant Kraft looks at - to swallow up the British chocolate maker Cadbury. Cadbury board members have accepted Kraft's latest offer of about $19 billion. This decision comes after months of resistance, in part over the price. Cadbury workers also feared for their jobs.

A Cadbury family member opposed the loss of the British company's independence to what she said is an American company she associates with plastic cheese - as if there was something wrong with that. This deal, if it goes through, would instantly make Kraft the world's biggest candy company.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

In Japan, nearly 16,000 people are about to lose their jobs in one of the country's biggest-ever corporate failures. Japan Airlines has been Asia's largest carrier, in terms of revenues. After three government bailouts over the last decade, the carrier today filed for bankruptcy. Its planes will stay in the air as the massively in-debt airline goes through a state-backed restructuring plan that involves cutting routes, reducing pensions, and losing a third of its workforce.

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