Is responsibility worth protection?

The Cadbury family lament the passing of ‘their’ family business into foreign hands. And there is much hand-wringing from all, including the Business Secretary. But ‘nothing can be done’, because to do so would be protectionism, and might lead to obstacles in UK companies taking over others…

When companies take each other over, there are many protections for shareholders, including careful due diligence. But what about other stakeholders? In the Cadbury case there must be a large risk to the workforce, especially given the leveraged nature of this deal. Beyond that, the tradition of social repsonsibility upon which Cadbury’s was founded might disappear. Kraft do not seem to have given anyguarantees on that front.

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