Cadbury chairman Roger Carr was unapologetic over the board’s decision to accept an improved bid from Kraft Foods amid widespread dismay at the controversial sale – and warned that job losses were “an inevitability”.

Investec analyst Martin Deboo said: “Our overwhelming feeling is that, while shareholder capitalism might have triumphed, something valuable has been lost today.”

Members of the Cadbury family also expressed their regret at the sale.

Peter Cadbury, great-grandson of George Cadbury, said: “It is regrettable that a company which took 186 years to build up has had its future decided by investors whose aims are short-term.”

But Carr – who again last week criticised Kraft’s business model and labelled their takeover approach as “derisory” – defended the decision.

“The reality is we are part of a global business,” he said. “Although Cadbury’s roots are deeply buried in Britain, the development of the company has been all over the world.”

Cadbury’s board yesterday recommended an improved £11.9bn bid from the US food group after a bitter war of words lasting several months. The news brings to an end 186 years of independence for once of the UK’s best-loved brands.

Chief executive Todd Stitzer reportedly stands to make up to £12m from the deal.