With approval already granted from the US Department of Justice, the European Commission granted conditional clearance for Cargill to acquire Archer Daniels Midland's chocolate business in Europe, completing the regulatory approval process.
“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 Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate North America. "The new organization will deepen our service to chocolate customers and expand our footprint and production capability significantly."
Upon completion of the transaction, ADM will transfer three chocolate, compound and liquor production sites in North America—Milwaukee (Wis.), Hazleton (Penn.) and Georgetown (Ontario)—three chocolate and compound production sites in Europe—Liverpool (U.K.), Manage (Belgium) and Mannheim (Germany)—and more than 650 employees to Cargill. The Ambrosia, Merckens and Schokinag brands will join Cargill's existing portfolio of chocolate brands.
"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 EMEA 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.”
To address the commission’s competition concerns, Cargill said it 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.