Workers in Cadbury Nigeria Plc are living on edge as news filtered in on Thursday that the management of the leading beverage by-products company will be embarking on a mass retrenchment exercise anytime from now.
The exercise is expected to cut across all categories of her operations. NEWSVERGE reliably gathered that the departments most likely to be affected include procurement, human resources, finance, marketing, and few in its manufacturing department. Sources in the company confirmed the enormity of the exercise but expressed doubts if the clearing out is in any way connected to the dwindling business fortune of the company due to the hostile economic situation in the country. The source who spoke under the condition of anonymity said that the company has concluded plans to outsource all its departments except the manufacturing department which would still be handled by the company. It was also gathered that the decision became imperative on the management owing to the continuous increment in its overhead cost which has taken a bad toll on the profitability of its operations in the country. Before now, the management of company had been considering shutting down its production in the country to resort to importations but the plan was scuttled by the President Buhari-led administration’s unfavourable disposition to importations of some products. He added that the cost of running their operations with a diesel powered generating set in a month is more than double of what it was before now. It is worthy of note that Cadbury Nigeria Plc, is a subsidiary of Mondelēz International family, a global snacks powerhouse and 25.01 per cent of its business held by indigenous shareholders and publicly traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Mondelez International has a majority equity-interest of 74.97% in Cadbury Nigeria through its holding in Cadbury Schweppes Overseas Limited. The remaining 25.03% equity-ownership is held by a diverse group of Nigerian individuals and institutional shareholders. Cadbury Nigeria owned 99.66% equity in Stanmark Cocoa Processing Company Limited, located in Ondo Town in Ondo State, Nigeria. The Company provides all the cocoa powder required for manufacturing Cadbury Bournvita.
Stanmark Cocoa Processing Company Limited processed cocoa beans into several high quality cocoa by-products (such as cocoa butter, cocoa powder, cocoa cake and cocoa liquor) for local and export markets. Cadbury Nigeria in 2013, acquired the majority equity-interests in Stanmark Cocoa Processing Company Limited, becoming part of the enlarged Cadbury Nigeria family and now known as Cadbury Nigeria Plc Cocoa Processing Plant.