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Food giant moves headquarters to Zurich

Cash cow: Kraft Foods is moving to Zurich Keystone

The world's second-biggest nutrition company, Kraft Foods, is consolidating its European headquarters and moving to the largest Swiss city, Zurich.

This content was published on January 4, 2007 - 09:09

The United States firm, which includes the Toblerone, Milka, Suchard chocolates and Philadelphia cheese brands, is the latest major company to settle in Zurich.

"We will create several hundred jobs," a company spokeswoman told the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper. She gave no further details.

Up to 200 positions will be transferred from the current headquarters in London and Vienna.

The company, which announced the move in September, hired office space for about 600 people near the largest Swiss airport.

Staff are to take up their jobs from the middle of the year.

No tax breaks

The Zurich cantonal authorities say neither Kraft nor its employees will benefit from tax breaks.

However, they said Zurich offers excellent transport links to other European regions and favourable labour market conditions as a result of an accord between Switzerland and the European Union.

A senior Zurich official Stephan Kux said it was not advisable to grant tax reductions amid tensions over fiscal privileges in some Swiss cantons.

In 1993 the Swiss company, Jacobs Suchard, which produces Toblerone chocolate, was acquired by Philip Morris - to be merged by Kraft Foods later on.

In January 2003 the New York-based Altria Group became the parent company of Kraft Foods and tobacco giants Philip Morris International, Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris Capital Corporation. Previously, Altria Group was named Philip Morris Companies.

The world's leading food company, Nestlé, is based in western Switzerland.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Kraft Foods:
World headquarters: Chicago, Illinois.
Workforce: 94,000 in 150 countries around the world.
Annual sales: $34 billion (SFr41.7 billion).

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