The European Commission has granted conditional clearance for Cargill to acquire Archer Daniels Midland's chocolate business in Europe. With the approvals granted earlier by the U.S. Department of Justice, the regulatory approval process for the global deal is complete.
"The acquisition underlines Cargill's commitment to meeting our customers' needs and constitutes a milestone for our chocolate growth strategy, strengthening our position as a leading player in the cocoa and chocolate industry," says Bryan Wurscher, president of Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate North America. "The new organization will deepen our service to chocolate customers and expand our footprint and production capability significantly. Customers will benefit from a combined business with a broad range of high quality cocoa and chocolate products for confectionery, bakery, dairy and other applications."
"We are looking forward to bringing together people with a deep passion, experience and commitment to producing excellent chocolate in our extended chocolate operations," says Jos de Loor, president of Cargill's cocoa and chocolate business, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. "Growing our business goes hand-in-hand with our commitment to securing the long-term viability of a strong and sustainable cocoa-bean supply chain. With the Cargill Cocoa Promise, we are supporting progress towards a transparent cocoa-supply chain, enabling farmers to achieve better livelihoods and delivering a sustainable supply of cocoa and chocolate products to meet the growing demands from customers."
After closing of the transaction, three chocolate, compound and liquor production sites in North America — Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Hazleton, Pennsylvania; and Georgetown, Ontario — and three chocolate and compound production sites in Europe — Liverpool, England; Manage, Belgium; and Mannheim, Germany — and more than 650 employees will transfer to Cargill. Also, the Ambrosia, Merckens and Schokinag brands will join Cargill's existing portfolio of high quality chocolate brands.
Addressing the European Commission's competition concerns, Cargill has agreed to divest ADM's industrial chocolate-production facility in Mannheim, Germany. The facility will be kept as a separate entity with its own interim management until an agreement with a prospective buyer has been made.