Mark Lennihan, AP
British chocolate maker Cadbury accepted a $19.5 billion buyout bid from American giant Kraft Foods in a move that will form the world's largest candy company, the Associated Press reported.
Both Kraft and Hershey were bidding for the U.K. chocolatier. Shareholders are expected to accept Kraft's bid.
Kraft, maker of Toblerone chocolate, Velveeta processed cheese and Oreo cookies, will gain ownership of products including Dairy Milk chocolates and Dentyne gum. Combined, Kraft and Cadbury would have 40 candy brands each with over $100 million in sales, AP reported.
Despite the takeover, Americans who eagerly anticipate Cadbury Creme Eggs in their Easter baskets need not fear, the company said.
"We have great respect for Cadbury's brands, heritage and people," Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld said. "We believe they will thrive as part of Kraft Foods."
Workers in the U.K., however, are afraid the deal will mean job cuts in their home country.
"This is a very sad day for U.K. manufacturing. A successful, iconic, independent U.K. brand will now be owned by a giant company with massive debt," said Jennie Formby, spokesperson for a union that campaigned against the takeover, told the AP.
Cadbury was founded in 1824 by John Cadbury in Birmingham, England. Cadbury was a quaker who believed chocolate and cocoa were "healthy alternatives to alcohol, considered to add to the miseries of the working class," the AP reported.