Kraft Foods is to split in half, creating two new independently listed companies.

Plans to form a global snacks business – including Cadbury – distinct from its North American grocery business were announced today. The split will be completed by the end of next year.

“Our strategic actions have put us in a position to create two great companies, each with the leadership, resources and strong market positions to realise their full potential,” said chief executive Irene Rosenfeld.

“The next phase of our development recognises the distinct priorities within our portfolio. The global snacks business has tremendous opportunities for growth as consumer demand for snacks increases around the world.

“The North American grocery business has a remarkable set of iconic brands, industry-leading margins and the clear ability to generate significant cash flow.”

Cadbury will be joined in the snacks business by Kraft’s European and developing markets divisions, as well as the Oreo and Milka brands. That company will have annual sales of $32bn (£19.6bn).

The American grocery business will include the Philadelphia, Oscar Mayer and Capri-Sun brands. Its annual sales will total $16bn.

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