Cargill strikes £266M ADM chocolate deal

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags North america Archer daniels midland

Cargill has underlined its commitment to sustainable cocoa bean sourcing
Cargill has underlined its commitment to sustainable cocoa bean sourcing
Ingredients giant Cargill aims to gobble a bigger chunk of the global chocolate market, having agreed to buy Archer Daniels Midland’s (ADM’s) interests in the sector for $440M (£266.4M).

The deal, subject to regulatory clearance in the EU and US, includes ADM’s Liverpool factory in the UK, plus other European plants in Manage, Belgium, and Mannheim, Germany.

In addition, it would give Cargill ADM’s three North American chocolate plants at Milwaukee in Wisconsin, Hazleton in Pennsylvania, and Georgetown in Ontario.

These new facilities would extend and complement Cargill’s existing sales in the chocolate market across North America, Europe, Asia and Brazil, and increase production capacity, particularly in North America, the company claimed.

When asked about plans for UK production and supply, a spokesman for Cargill told Cargill is purchasing this business as part of our growth strategy.

‘Best service and value’

“It is too early to answer questions about specific locations. But as part of the post-closing integration process, the integration team will work out the best way to design the combined operations to make sure we deliver the best service and value to our customers.”

He would not comment on whether the increased scale would enable Cargill to lower prices for its food industry customers.

Cargill would also gain ADM’s Ambrosia, Merckens and Schokinag brands and 700 new employees as a result of the transaction, which is expected to be completed in the first half of next year.

“This acquisition is a major milestone in Cargill’s chocolate growth strategy and will help us better serve our customers in North America and Europe,”​ said Bryan Wurscher, president, Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate North America.

‘Greater access to innovation’

“It will bring together great people with a deep passion and commitment to producing excellent chocolate. Our customers will benefit from a broader product portfolio, greater access to innovation and product development support.”

In the wake of the acquisition, Cargill would be able to offer enhanced capabilities and broader product ranges to support the long-term needs of the chocolate market.

There would also be real benefit to customers’ final products through access to Cargill’s expertise in texturisers, oils, fats and sweeteners.

“Cocoa and chocolate products have been key contributors to Cargill’s business since 1979,” said​ Jos de Loor, president, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. “We continue to invest strongly in the development of our own facilities and people, and we welcome the opportunity to embrace these new operations and further build on our success together.”

The deal follows Cargill’s announcement of the appointment of md of chocolate Inge Demeyere last month​.

In the wake of the move, the company has re-emphasised its commitment to sustainable cocoa bean sourcing and the development and support of local farmers through the Cargill Cocoa Promise.

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