Cargill to buy ADM chocolate businessFood juggernaut Cargill said Tuesday it has agreed to purchase the Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company’s global chocolate business for $440 million.

 “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 Minnesota-based Cargill said the transaction includes ADM’s three European plants and the company’s three North American chocolate plants located in Milwaukee, WI; Hazleton, PA; and Georgetown, Ontario.

Cargill’s product portfolio will expand to include ADM's Ambrosia, Merckens and Schokinag brands. Upon completion of the transaction, Cargill said it will gain approximately 700 new employees.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2015.