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NORTHFIELD, Ill. -- Kraft Foods' soon-to-be new global snacks company now has a name: Mondelez International Inc. The announcement comes as the company is preparing to split into two, with the North American grocery company moving forward as Kraft Foods Group Inc., keeping the Kraft name alive.
Pronounced mohn-dah-leez , the name is a newly coined word that evokes the idea of a "delicious world," the company said. Monde derives from the Latin word for world and delez is a fanciful expression of delicious. In addition, the use of "International" captures the global nature of the business, according to a company statement.
"The Kraft brand is a perfect fit for the North American grocery business and gives it a wonderful platform on which to build an exciting future," said Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld. "For the new global snacks company, we wanted to find a new name that could serve as an umbrella for our iconic brands, reinforce the truly global nature of this business and build on our higher purpose -- to 'make today delicious.' Mondelez perfectly captures the idea of a 'delicious world' and will serve as a solid foundation for the strong relationships we want to create with our consumers, customers, employees and shareholders."
Last fall, Kraft invited employees from around the world to suggest names for the new global snacks company. As part of this creation process, more than 1,000 employees participated, submitting more than 1,700 names for consideration. Mondelez International was inspired by separate suggestions from two employees, one in Europe and another in North America, the company explained.
"It's quite a job for a single word to capture everything … we want the new global snacks company to stand for," said Mary Beth West, executive vice president and chief marketing officer. "I'm thrilled with the name Mondelez International. It's interesting, unique and captures a big idea -- just the way the snacks we make can take small moments in our lives and turn them into something bigger, brighter and more joyful."
Kraft's board of directors has approved the new name and will submit an amendment to the company's Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation for shareholder approval at the annual shareholders meeting, to be held May 23. If shareholders approve the amendment, the company expects the new name to become effective when the global snacks company launches before the end of this year.
Kraft has also reserved the stock symbol "MDLZ." If the name change amendment is approved, the company intends to request that its common stock trade under this new stock symbol after the spinoff. The stock symbol for the North American grocery company will be announced at a later date.
Until the new companies launch, however, the name and stock trading symbol for Kraft Foods Inc. will not change. In addition, the name change will not in any way affect the validity or transferability of current outstanding stock certificates, and the company will not ask shareholders to surrender for exchange any Kraft Foods Inc. certificates presently held, the company added.