back to article Cadbury flakes in face of Kraft bid - cuts expected

Cadbury, the 186-year old chocolate maker, has given up the fight and accepted a hostile takeover bid from Kraft. The two firms are still locked in final negotiations - an update given to the London Stock Exchange said they were finalising terms and that a further announcement will be issued shortly. The offer is for 840p per …


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  1. Andy 97
    Thumb Down

    There goes the neighbourhood

    Now it will be shit chocolate and outsourced staff to Eastern Europe.

    Remember when Nestle changed the Kit Kat chocolate?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Debt laden...

    I'm no financial type, but so far as I can make out. Buying with debt is the same as borrowing money but for big companies.

    Perhaps for the protection of certain industries and the jobs therein, it ought to be the case that you can only buy companies with cash that you actually have (or by share issuing which equates to the same thing) rather than pretending you have the money by borrowing it.

    1. Captain TickTock

      Property May not be Theft...

      ...But even cash is just borrowed assets, mate.

      You'll even see the words "promise to pay" on on a fiver:

      Share issuing is like borrowing money from shareholders (who will want it back one day)

      It's all abstract, it's just a matter of what level...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Debt laden...

      Quite. I have long thought the fact that you can buy a company solely with debt and then pay back the purchase cost from that companies revenue (or by selling the companies assets) to be slightly ridiculous.

      1. Captain TickTock

        sounds like ...

        ... buy to let

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Yet another brand I will be boycotting!

  4. N2

    Shame really

    Another British establishment of manufacturing industry bites the dust

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Oi! Kraft! - don't mess with my Dairy Milk!

    Let's hope Kraft don't start fucking around with Cadbury's recipes, like Nestle did to Rowntree Mackintosh.

    KitKats taste like shit now - especially the ones sold here on the continent. Thanks Nestle, you chocotwunts.

    1. MinionZero

      @"Let's hope Kraft don't start fucking around with Cadbury's recipes"

      Sadly management type people usually opt for 1 big factory making something rather than 2 smaller factories making similar things. Once they force their changes through (give it a year or two to take effect), then if the sales are down due to bloody awful tasting product, then management can always blame market forces, state of the economy, media health drives, poor point of sale promotional slots in stores, poorly performing advertising etc..

      In short, the management would almost never consider their own actions as wrong. Its always some other excuse. So they won't see the recipes as that important and having only 1 factory rather than 2 is far more important to them and their profit margins. Plus they will just think people buy chocolate and so still want chocolate and added to that, think themselves as so wonderful because they have now taken a major competitor out of the market against them, so more profits for them. Great news for them.

      Sadly most of the sweets I remember as a kid have been changed or are gone. So I don't hold out much long term hope for Cadbury. :(

  6. Z 1

    ByeBye brummie choccies

    Expect terms such as "consolodation", "repositioning" and other business newspeak to be rolled out followed by factory closures and redundancies.

  7. MinionZero

    Selling off the UK piece by piece

    Its sad to see such an old name and yet another piece of the UK sold off. :(

  8. Anonymous Coward


    that's 6000 more on the dole then...

  9. irish donkey
    Thumb Down

    Lord Mandelson held a meeting

    well that is the kiss of death to any business.

    Yet another fine, upstanding British Business waves good bye to the country of its birth. Soon all we will produce in the UK is .... ... well nothing really.

    Vote for change

  10. Jelliphiish


    not really chocolate is it?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      In Canada..

      ..we have Hershy's chocolate "Kisses".

      Basically chocolate drops.

      They taste like sick.

      How on earth you can make something simple like choc drops taste like sick is quite beyond me.

  11. censored

    The Americans know NOTHING about chocolate

    Have you tasted their travesty of Hershey's which yanks go mad over? Horrid stuff. As are their beloved Oreos.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Have you tasted BRITISH chocolate?

      Remember the EU wanted to rename it things like "chocolate substitute" and such? You are mourning what, exactly? A mass-produced "chocolate"-alike. Sure, some Cadbury's stuff is okay, but how much contains large proportions of things like vegetable fats and whey (now usually referred to using weasely terms like "milk solids") and good ol' Lecithin?

      Try Lindt. Try Swiss Délice. Try Côte d'Or. Try _anything_ that at least has enough actual "chocolate" in it to be able to quote a percentage. That is what chocolate is supposed to taste like.

      The Americans might know nothing about chocolate if you pick Hershey's as an example.

      Though, if I pick Cadbury's as an example, the Brits aren't so hot on the topic either...

  12. Lionel Baden

    so now what

    do i stop buying the missus Choclate to show my dissapointment ????

  13. Anonymous Coward


    The ethical and now largely fair trade Cadbury is swallowed up by one of the most unethical, unfair trade corporations on the planet =o(

    Together, Kraft and Nestle are the worlds biggest contributors towards extreme poverty in coffee producing areas and even modern day slavery (on cocoa plantations) across vast swaths of Africa and South America.

    Maybe Cadbury can influence Kraft in the same way that Green and Blacks influenced it, here's to hoping...

  14. Richard 81

    Oh yes?

    "he expected long-term commitments, not just short-term profit taking."

    Shame he doesn't feel the same about science.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What to expect

    More of the usual, Board members cash in their share options,make disgustingly large amounts of cash, production is moved to other countries, jobs go in manufacturing, distribution, sales, etc. But only after 9 months to a year, let the dust settle. American management comes in , pisses off the best workers, who leave, company sites become even less profitable, Kraft closes sites. Hedge funds and Pensions people make disgustingly large bonus, pension funds under perform as usual........More of the usual. GREED WINS.

    btw Cadbury's M&A advisors are, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, both US based companies.

    A sad day for British workers.

  16. Vitani

    Cad-bree or Cad-b-ree?

    I hope the shareholders at Cad-bree say "no", that'd be hilarious and a massive slap in the face of Kraft. I'd be tempted to buy shares if I could have a vote!

    PS. I like the way you make it an IT article by putting a reference to IBM in there :o)

  17. Flossie

    Terrible News

    I hope this gets blocked further down the line. I don't work for Cadburys but I live next to the HQ in Bournville, Birmingham. Local jobs have already suffered worse than average in the recession. Now our most profitable and successful local business is going to be forced to make job cuts just to make profits for the the very people whose speculation caused the recession in the first place.

    1. Michael 28

      I do work for cadburys,

      But not at selly oaks. I had the feeling of impending doom as soon as soon as mandelson got on board. I also felt that it was a shame todd stitzer (he's american, by the way) was retiring in the next year or two... he would've missed all the growth he was promising investors .

      I've also heard Irene Rosenfeld (our new boss) talk about "the best of both" ....and then talking job losses (sorry .."efficiencies")

      The best of both? sounds like " the best of the best" ... Maybe theyll play top gun or MIB at full volume when she arrives , so we don't hear the gunshots from behind the bike sheds!

  18. King John


    "short term profit making"

    That probably means my dairy milk will now be stuffed full of high fructose corn syrup, f**k this deal, i wont be eating any cadbury products any more, corn syrup = obese/type 2 diabetes.

  19. Tony S
    IT Angle

    Sad day

    Cadbury's chocolate - better get it now whilst you can.

    No matter what the management at Kraft say, they are going to make cuts to the work force and they will definitely look to relocate some parts of the business (if not the whole thing) overseas.

    It's also highly likely that they will look to change the recipe of the products (they have done with almost every other brand that they own.

    Still, there's always Thorntons - bet their sales increase on the next few years.

    IT angle? There are going to be a lot more IT techies not getting their leg over as the British womenfolk will hate the American style "candy"

  20. David Webb


    It's going to take them 22 years to pay off the debt, what are the odds that Kraft themselves gets bought out because of this? They cannot afford Cadburys. It's a bit like Porche trying to buy VW, in the end VW bought Porche!

    Plus Oreos suck and are pretty disgusting, do we want Cadburys to start making tasteless chocolates?

    1. Captain TickTock

      If you've tried Belgian chocolate...

      .. you might think Cadbury's had already started...

    2. asdf

      merkin bashing sigh

      Ok your point about Hershey's and American chocolate in general is well taken (any American that argues otherwise has never been to Euroland). But leave the Oreos alone. Granted since they got rid of the trans fat they are not as good but they are our biscuit. I can understand why Euros don't like them and say Twinkies as well though. They don't exactly look like food on first glance but they are yummy. As for this deal, it is horrible in every way for Kraft (guess I know where the AIG management got new jobs). When a company ignores one of its largest shareholders Warren Buffet it is generally a good time to short sell the stock.

      1. SynnerCal
        Thumb Down

        Re: 'merkin bashing sigh.

        Not sure why folks seem to have singled out Oreo's as an example of all that's bad. That said, I wasn't that impressed with the US ones, (or the ones sold over here in the UK), the Japanese ones were - at least last time I tried them - markedly superior. Of course - he says being evil and very naive - there's always the chance that Cadbury's will managed to "un-Americanise" the US product - could only be an improvement!

        Oh, and wrt the gratuitous reference to IBM (an attempt to stave off the accusations of "not IT related!" perhaps?), Kraft are so big that they've got links with other outsourcers too - for example, the now defunct EDS - see

        I genuinely sympathise with the Cadbury workers - I can't see the shareholders turning down the offer, and you can pretty much guarantee that 18-24 months down the line the jobs will start going to some sweat shop in the eastern EU.

        I'm wondering if Kraft will keep open the "Cadbury World" visitors attraction - I hope so, because when I visited recently I had a fine old time and the staff were really helpful and knowledgeable. It was well worth the entrance fee anyway - and ok it'll be months until I get rid of the spare tire caused by the visit to the shop at the end, but the less said about that the better...

  21. Iggle Piggle
    Thumb Down


    hope they can learn something from Cadbury and not decide that the rest of the world needs the chance to experience American "chocolate" with it's distinct after taste that reminds me of the last time I needed to talk on the big white telephone.

  22. Steve X

    could be worse

    At least Hershey didn't get them. Kraft stuff is generally edible.

  23. ScientologyIsACult

    Sodding Cigarette Companies

    Great the qualit is going t be that of Kraft 'Cheeses' now such as singles, dairylea etc. FFS what has the world come to, I am not happy at all.

  24. Martin Gregorie

    Kraft bord need their heads read

    Is this stupid or what?

    In the middle of a bad debt inspired recession Kraft finance the deal with - a shedload of debt.

  25. Cod

    CurlyWurlys are on me!

    For a short while longer anyway...after which they will have the caramel centre replaced by cheesewhizz.

    Eat up kiddies.

  26. richard 69

    a shame...

    can i recommend buying lindt - their dark choccy is mighty fine, go for the 70%.

    cadburys bournville 'dark' choccy is rubbish and i suspect all their range will now start to taste like the US choccy - bloody awful!

    since HP sauce went abroad, i really have no faith in british food brands.

    1. Smallbrainfield


      I can't stand Lindt. I work about 5 minutes walk from Slatterys in Manchester, so if I want a real fix of chocolate, I go there.

      I've ditched HP sauce for Reggae Reggae sauce. No idea where it's made, but it's lovely.

  27. Chris Miller
    Thumb Down

    Shame, but

    British chocolate (from the big boys, anyway) was always crap - for a long time the EC weren't going to let it be called chocolate, since it contains so much non-cocoa vegetable oil (of course the US 'version' of chocolate is even worse ...) As Richard says, Lindt is an example of a mass-produced brand that maintains decent product standards.

    Wasn't the Cadbury-Schweppes IT operation spun out in the 80s and became one of the first outsourcing operations (can't remember now what name they came up with)?

    1. richard 69

      milk choccy has no milk in it

      i think the eu wanted 'milk' chocolate to be called 'family' chocolate because it contains milk powder and vegetable oil and sugar, so nothing like proper chocolate. daily milk is truly horrible, but the US stuff is a disgrace.

      will be a shame when they start to make 'cost savings'....

  28. John Savard


    It must be about ten years now, if not more, since Cadbury Choco disappeared from the stores here, and the only choice for powder to make cold chocolate milk (for hot chocolate, one can still get Fry's Cocoa) is Nestle's Quik. (There was a brief period when Hershey's also made a powder that was on our store shelves, now that I think of it.)

    Cadbury chocolate bars, however, are still readily available in Canada. I am saddened to hear of this news, the more so with the information contained in these comments.

  29. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    What is this?

    Chocolate news now? Are you reviving the "Confectionery Theory" report?

    Or, where will we now get our chocolate teapots to compare Windows Vista to? (Actually it looks pretty good to me, but I don't use it!)

    Cadburys recently went Fair Trade on major products, which is something. My local Co Op chocolate is Fair Trade but also Past Sell By Date, I probably should mention it sometime. Note that standard recipe chocolate contins more sugar than cocoa, so that had better be Fair Trade as well.

    Chocolate isn't a bad investment in a time of depression... comfort food, you know.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Im sure this won't get posted...

    Seems like a great match one candy company to another - Very little chocolate in eithers companies products....

  31. jerehada
    Thumb Down

    no one wants this in the UK but why cannot we stop it

    Sad day if you know what happended to Rowntrees and Terry's. Seems to be a sovereignty point here the governemnt has given up the ability to act in national interest vis-a-vis take overs so we the public cannot influcnce our representatives to get the decision we want for a business that is in the UK. I think we need a "final solution" for highly leveraged business's and bankers that provide no social worth.

  32. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Im sure this won't get posted...

    Why would I not post that? How very odd.

    If they fuck up Green & Black's I will be round their gaff. SAY NO TO HERSHEYFICATION.

    Hey ho. It's still going to be easier for me to source decent chocolate than it will be for people to find new jobs, so can't grumble for a second.

    1. Ministry of Truth
      Thumb Up

      May I recommend...

      Montezuma chocolate?

      If Mistress Bee would like a sample, all she has to do is ask.... ;)

      Makes Green and Blacks seem uninspired by comparison...

      Still, I confess to a dirty CDM addiction, in the same way as I love McDonalds Quarter Pounders with Cheese. It's the ultimate slut burger. It's not the burger to take home to your mom, but it's the one you want 10 minutes of dirty pleasure with. CDM is pretty much the same...

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Sexual metaphors with a burger?

        OMFG! Is there a lurking issue waiting to be resolved, or something? I, like many, will have a burger as a quick fix (I'd prefer KFC, but they're not exactly in great evidence, if at all) but I must say in all my years I've never looked upon a Quarter Pounder in quite that manner!

        My personal favourite is "Royal Deluxe". Most calories for the money, and a rather pleasant mustardy sauce. Tragic shame what they did to the chips. About a year ago. I don't know what _exactly_ changed, but I'd really rather pull snot out of my nose and eat it than suffer a McChip. Especially a cold (as all too often served) McChip.

  33. Fred Mbogo
    Thumb Down

    At least they weren't bought by Hershey's

    I distinguish peasants from people with the basics of palate discipline based on this. If they like Hershey's they know #$%@#$%@# about good taste. I would describe the taste of that confection as petroleum jelly covered in molten plastic.

    Adding my voice to the chorus of "Don't mess with the f*cking recipe!". I used to like Nestle's Crunch chocolate. It used to be creamier with a milder sweetness. After Nestle started messing around with the recipe, you now get a grayish abomination that tastes like a frozen bar of water sweetened with saccharine.

    I'm personally partial to Benn's Gold Bar and Truffettes de France.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    As soon as...

    Cadbury's went to a publicly traded company, this was always a possibility - according to some interviews on R4 the last few mornings, many of the major Cadbury shareholders are not from the UK anyway. Additionally, the Cadbury's board HAVE to accept a deal at a certain level otherwise the shareholders can remove the board and have it replaced, as they will be deemed to be not acting in the best interest of the shareholders (owners) who just want a healthy return on their investment.

    Maybe Mandleson could provide some government backing for a completely new 'Cadbury's Original' or 'Cadbury's 1886' business - all UK based employees leave and join the new entity and HOPE the UK population feel all nostalgic about them and buy only Cadbury's ???? brands.

  35. Al fazed Bronze badge

    Short in the lunch box

    That'll leave me with another gap in my satchel where the goodies used to be.

    After this deal, I won't be buying anymore Cadbury's products, so I can only suggest that those affected by the staff cuts should set up a Social Enterprise making Cream Eggs just for Mandy. Who knows, if they are any good, full of true grit or summat, they could be just what Gordon needs to save the English economy.

    Now, I have a load of debt and this deal has got me wondering if I can't maybe buy a US bank on the strength of it ? How about all us debt laden folks in the UK buy out all the US banks ?

    We could make loads a Wonka maybe, and get the UK goovermin to bail us out when it all goes tits up, as it will, 'cos that's how we like 'em.


  36. Ian Ferguson


    I'm looking forward to the new Cheezy Creme Eggs this Easter!

    And, of course, my fix of Bornville.

  37. Al fazed Bronze badge

    Here's puss in yer eye

    As I understand it, milk produced in the UK cannot be used if there is some (not sure exactly how much) level of puss in it (derived from mastitis of cow udders). This strict regulation does not cover dairy "products" imported from the USA, where a significantly greater ammount of puss is acceptable in the milk.

    YUKKEE !

    Also, over the pond they regularly stuff their cow feed with hormones, antibiotics and steriods, all in the name of improving the outcome ! On the other hand we do not care for these additives, as we have our own drugs to play with. But you can see why I ain't gonna be eating Cadbury's anything in future.

    As an animal lover, I can't say that I will miss the UK dairy industry when it collapses after this deal. Maybe there'll be some cheap building land available when our herds of cattle have vanished. Sad day for UK farming.

    1. Michael 28


      that's not strictly true ..... ever wonder about flavoured milk here in the uk? Pasteurisation lowers any bacterial load , but not all the milk resulting is pure white... BTW, the farmyard is NOT a clean place . pasteurisation is good.

      Mastitis is an STD here , and farmers are under severe pressure to make sure it dosen't occur on THEIR farm.

      Elf 'n safety etc.

      WRT the hormones, most (not all ) are denatured in the cooking process . The problem is the slaughterhouses, farms, etc, become a selective environment for resistant "superbugs" ,

      MRSA etc .

      As for the fate of the uk dairy industry, i'm going back to watch "zombieland" with relish......and chips !!! :-)

    2. Captain TickTock

      That's "pus"...

      (as in boil).

      Not "Puss" (as in Boots)

      Well I suppose it is pantomime season...

      Mine's the academic gown.

    3. Eponymous Cowherd

      Pussy Chocs

      ***"This strict regulation does not cover dairy "products" imported from the USA, where a significantly greater ammount of puss is acceptable in the milk."***

      You owe me a new keyboard for that one!

  38. Frantisek Janak


    Am I the only one who thought of Chocolate Rain?



  39. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: May I recommend...

    Montezuma is indeed best.

    1. Ministry of Truth


      ...I was going to have some couriered over to you, but seeing as you've already tried it...

      Mines the dirty brown one, trying to lure young ladies with chocolate, as if that would ever work...

  40. LesB

    Can I just suggest...

    ..the fine products of those nice Hotel Chocolat people.

  41. Emilio Desalvo

    How to stop...

    ... a factory to move overseas?

    You must get you union men, pack them on a RAF C-17, and parachute them in a developing nation, so that they will unionise it, raise the cost of producing in that nation, an make it more interesting to produce something in the UK and the rest of Europe.

    Just look at what happened with mines. A lot of them in the US and Europe closed because they could not fight competition from outside. Now that China has a burgeoning internal market it is gobbling a lot of stuff without selling it to the outside, so a lot of those mines will soon be profitable again, to feed OUR internal market...

  42. Colin Barfoot


    @Sarah Bee et al.

    Lindt (or anything Swiss). Yuck. Green and Blacks. Overpriced.

    Lidl do some excellent, reasonably-priced chocolate.

    Kraft own Cote d'Or, which was once widely available in the UK. I liked it: croquant pecan, caramelized almonds, ... Carrefour, the French supermarket, do cheaper versions, nicely presented - pay attention UK supermarkets!

    I buy all my chocolate in Bayonne, France.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: What to expect

    "More of the usual, Board members cash in their share options,make disgustingly large amounts of cash,"

    In this case, it appears to be the larger shareholders looking to make some money rather than the board directors. The board seems reluctant to sell, but have been advised that the offer is likely to be accepted by their shareholders (who, unfortunately, they are responsible to).

    It's a shame that Kraft are probably going to ruin one of the only remaining brands that Brits can be proud of.

  44. Graham Bartlett


    Seconded on Hotel Chocolat - the *only* place to buy decent chocolates.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    bah humbug

    re - agreed.

    BTW, this ethical quaker company merged with Schweppes in 1969 and "the manufacture of Cadbury confectionery brands were licensed to Hershey's." ( So much for the Hershey hatorzz.

    Better yet, the ethical confectioners knowingly sold chocolate infected with salmonella for a few months, however their brief

    "..told the judge that the changes were introduced to improve safety.

    Anthony Scrivener, QC, for Cadbury, said: “Negligence we admit, but we certainly do not admit that this was done deliberately to save money and nor is there any evidence to support that conclusion.”" (

    k. Fine £1 million.

    Whilst I feel sorry for the people on the shop floor, the idea that this is a great British company that has sadly been sold out to the money men is well out of date; they sold out decades ago.

  46. Ancient Oracle funkie
    Paris Hilton

    Use of the English language

    OK, if we can discuss chocolate on an IT site, I can moan about the appalling use of the English language.

    When Kraft offered £10.5Bn the reaction by Cadbury chairman Roger Carr was "Don't let Kraft steal your company with its derisory offer"

    Now the definition of derisory is "ridiculously small" (Oxford Dictionary) or "describes an amount that is so small it is silly " (Cambridge)

    Yet this new offer is only approximately 10% higher. Methinks that Mr Carr doesn't understand the word derisory or perhaps the latest offer included some kind of sweetner (sorry).

    Actually what it appears to be down to is less the size of the offer but how much cash is involved.

    Finally according to the latest news on the beeb, Cadbury's chairman has confirmed to the BBC that job losses are an "inevitability" Not really surprising as the beeb Had him saying on Staurday that Kraft was likely to cut jobs in the UK, apparently as part of the reason why he was rejecting Kraft's offer.

    BTW did you know that "captains of industry" is an anagram? If you re-arrange the letters you get "greedy bastards"

    Paris - because if you're going to get screwed by the Americans ...

    aid , adding that Kraft was likely to cut jobs in the UK.

  47. peyton?

    une question

    So do they sell Herseys in the UK? It seems like they must, as everyone seems to know about them and hate them? But then that begs the question, if they are universally loathed how do they make any money?

    As a USAian, I'll readily admit that Herseys is not the gold standard for chocolate (or the silver, or the bronze) but I do like them more than anything else for a s'more. I also like the chocolate syrup for chocolate milk. But then, I also don't think of Cadbury when I'm craving top-notch chocolate - maybe they keep all the top shelf stuff on your side of the pond... That said, Easter would not be Easter for me without Cadbury cream eggs... mmmm now I want one - popped in the microwave for just a few of seconds (any longer and the filling heats up to just below the temperature required to kick off nuclear fission - which can be quite deceptive as the chocolate shell remains in tact). droooolz

  48. John H Woods


    ... even better than Montezuma. IMHO

  49. Simon Taylor 2

    But why...

    But why was Cadbury sold at all (be it to Kraft or any other company) anyway?

    As far as I know Cadbury wasn't in dept so didn't need to be bought out. ...Or am/was I wrong?

    Now that Kraft have paid £11.7 billion, both company's are in dept. How long will it take before Kraft have paid off that £11.7 billion loan, i'm thinking years!

    1. Eponymous Cowherd

      You know those cartoons....

      where the character's eyes turn to $ signs and you hear "Ker-ching"?

      That would be all of the Cadbury shareholders.

      And that's why they sold out.

  50. Simon B

    A sad affair - Just awaiting the killer blows

    Just waiting now for them to make it in the states at a lower cost and ship it over, resulting n many more job losses here, not before changing the recipe and moving away from MILK chocolate and more towards the taste of american chocolate. At which point the entire UK population will likely go WTF is this?! stop buying it and eventually the entire UK market for cadbury (Kraftbury?) will dry up and who knows, mabe other countries will do the same and Kraftbuy will go bump.

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