Green & Blacks considering MBO from Kraft

Organic chocolate firm's managers struggling to sustain entrepreneurial attitude under aegis of US food giant

Green & Blacks, the organic chocolate brand, is looking to remove itself from US giant Kraft under a management buy-out, it has been reported.

Kraft acquired Green & Blacks, which was founded by Whole Foods entrepreneur Craig Sams, as part of its takeover of Cadbury last year. However The Financial Times has reported that its management is struggling to retain an entrepreneurial spirit under Kraft and are considering a full or partial MBO.

Green & Blacks, set up in 1991, was sold for an estimated £20m to Cadbury six years ago and Sams remains president of the brand. It now has sales of around £40m under Kraft, which has an annual turnover of around £50bn. Trevor Bond, the head of individual country businesses, said recently: “Green & Black’s is £40m out of a £1bn chocolate business [in the UK]. I would sell more Creme Eggs.”

Green & Blacks differentiated itself by its high cocoa-content, organic chocolate sourced from Togo and Belize and its ethical principles – it was the first British brand to receive the Fairtrade designation.

Sams has told The Independent: “I would love to take [Green & Black’s] back and I know a number inside would also.” Kraft so far has made no indications of wanting to sell the business.


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