Almost two centuries as an independent company came to an end when Cadbury shareholders voted to accept Kraft Foods’ takeover offer.

The US rival finally won its five-month battle for control of the Birmingham-based company after confirming that more than two-thirds of shareholders backed its offer.

The vote paves the way for Kraft to snap up Cadbury - ending its 186-year history as an independent company.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, the company said it was closing in on the necessary 75 per cent to de-list Cadbury. The next step would be owning 90 per cent of shares to take it over entirely.

The firm said, in a statement: “Following receipt of sufficient acceptances (i.e. 75 per cent.), Kraft Foods intends to procure that Cadbury will apply for the cancellation of the listing of Cadbury shares on the official list and the trading on the London Stock Exchange for listed securities.

"Kraft Foods also intends to procure that, as soon as practicable.”

Kraft’s cash-and-shares deal, recommended by the Cadbury board two weeks ago, values the UK firm at around £11.4 billion.

The result came as hundreds of Cadbury workers staged a noisy protest in Westminster to call for guarantees for their jobs and conditions.

They pressed for a new law to be introduced to prevent any more British “icons” being bought up by foreign firms.