January 21, 2011 / 4:31 PM / 9 years ago

Former UK minister Mandelson to advise Lazard

* Peter Mandelson joins Lazard adviser network

* Mandelson warned Lazard client Kraft over Cadbury * Lazard advisers include Archie Norman, Paul Keating

By Victoria Howley

LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Former British government minister Peter Mandelson has become a senior adviser to Lazard (LAZ.N), the bank that masterminded Kraft Foods’ KFT.N 11.6 billion pound ($18.4 billion) takeover of Cadbury a year ago.

Mandelson, secretary of state for business under the UK’s previous Labour government, joins a network of advisers that includes Archie Norman, the chairman of broadcaster ITV ITV.BK, and Paul Keating, former prime minister of Australia.

While in government, Mandelson warned Kraft not to seek a “fast buck” when buying Cadbury, and said overseas headquarters could prove a long-term “disadvantage” to UK manufacturing.

He also supported a review of the country’s takeover laws to protect against the loss of other cherished national brands, which has led to proposals that could make hostile deals more difficult in Britain. [ID:nLDE69K0UM]

U.S. food group Kraft’s purchase of Cadbury was spearheaded by a crack Lazard team including London’s Peter Kiernan, who delayed and then gave up a move to Britain’s Takeover Panel watchdog as the controversial deal played out.

Kiernan subsequently returned to Lazard, where he is a managing director in the London M&A team.

The Takeover Panel in May reprimanded Kraft for closing down Cadbury’s Somerdale plant in southwest England after initially saying it planned to keep the factory open.

The Panel said Lazard should have questioned Kraft harder on why it believed it could keep Somerdale open, but did not formally reprimand the bank.

British politicians had tended to refrain from intervening in takeover battles prior to the outcry over Cadbury.

($1=.6289 Pound)

Editing by David Hulmes

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