Archer Daniels Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM) announced an agreement to sell its global chocolate business to Cargill for $440 million, subject to a customary working-capital adjustment. The proposed sale is expected to close during the first half of 2015 and is subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions.
“As part of our ongoing portfolio management, we considered several options to strengthen the returns of this part of our business,” said ADM Chairman and CEO Patricia A. Woertz. “The sale of the chocolate business helps improve ADM’s returns and will allow us to redeploy capital for higher-return investments.”
Included in the sale are chocolate manufacturing operations located in Hazleton, Pa.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Georgetown, Ontario; Liverpool, U.K.; Manage, Belgium; and Mannheim, Germany. Approximately 700 employees will transfer to Cargill with the sale.
At the time of closing, ADM will be ending cocoa processing operations at Hazleton, Pa. This will result in the elimination of about 90 positions at that location. ADM will offer affected employees severance packages and outplacement assistance.
Following the transaction, the 1,560 employees of ADM cocoa will continue to supply customers around the world with ADM’s renowned deZaan® cocoa ingredients from the company’s cocoa operations in Mississauga, Ontario; Koog aan de Zaan and Wormer, Netherlands; Mannheim, Germany; Ilhéus, Brazil; Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire; Kumasi, Ghana; and Singapore.