“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. “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.”
The transaction includes ADM’s three North American chocolate plants, located in Milwaukee, WI, Hazleton, PA, and Georgetown, Ontario; and three in Europe: Liverpool, U.K., Manage, Belgium, and Mannheim, Germany. These new facilities will extend and complement Cargill’s existing chocolate footprint across North America, Europe, Asia and Brazil, and increase production capacity, particularly in North America.
Cargill’s product portfolio will also add ADM’s Ambrosia, Merckens and Schokinag brands. Upon completion Cargill will gain approximately 700 new employees.
The combined business will be able to offer enhanced capabilities and broader product ranges to support the long-term needs of the chocolate market, according to Cargill.
The company said it is committed to ensuring the success of the cocoa farmers and markets throughout its global supply chain through the Cargill Cocoa Promise, which focuses on farmer training, community support and farm development. Cargill is determined to continue to support, invest in and further secure the long-term viability of a strong and sustainable cocoa bean supply chain.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval in the U.S. and the European Union. It is expected to close in the first half of 2015.