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NORTHFIELD, Ill. -- Kraft Foods Group Inc. marked its first day as an independent food and beverage company by ringing the Opening Bell of the NASDAQ Stock Market today. Mondelez International Inc. completed the spin-off of Kraft Foods Group last night at 5 p.m.
Kraft Foods Group CEO Tony Vernon was joined on the Opening Bell stage by employees from the United States and Canada representing manufacturing, transportation, sales, finance, research and development, and marketing.
"Today is the beginning of a great new company, a totally new Kraft, one with the spirit of a startup and the soul of a powerhouse," Vernon said. "We are proud of our rich history and deeply passionate about Kraft's future. We see this as an opportunity to build something extraordinary, to create a renaissance in the North American food and beverage industry."
The newly independent Kraft Foods Group is a $19-billion food and beverage company. Ten of the company's brands achieved sales of $500 million or more in 2011, while an additional 17 brands posted sales of $100 million or more last year. Approximately 80 percent of Kraft Foods Group's revenue comes from categories in which the company holds the No. 1 or No. 2 market position.
The former Kraft Foods Inc. revealed in January that it would split into two companies: a global snacks company (Mondelez International Inc.) and a North American grocery business. Mondelez International completed the spin-off of the grocery business by distributing all outstanding shared of Kraft Foods Group common stock that it owned ratably to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Sept. 19.
With the move came the official name changes as well. Mondelez International will trade on The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol MDLZ, and Kraft Foods Group will trade on The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol KRFT. The prior ticker symbol, KFT, has been retired.