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Cargill is expanding its cocoa and chocolate business in Europe through the acquisition of the business of Schwartauer Werke GmbH & Company KG Kakao Verarbeitung Berlin (KVB), an integrated chocolate company based in Germany.
KVB has two production plants, both in Berlin, Germany. The two plants have a capacity of more than 75,000 tonnes of chocolate per year and employ approximately 180 people. Upon completion of the deal, after clearance from the regulatory authorities, KVB and its employees will become part of Cargill's global network of cocoa and chocolate businesses, and benefit from the greater scale of the integrated operation.
"This acquisition marks a significant step in Cargill's chocolate growth strategy in Europe and our ability to better serve our existing and future customers," said Jos de Loor, Head of Cargill's cocoa and chocolate business. "The acquisition will strengthen Cargill's position in Germany, the largest chocolate market in Europe, and create opportunities to expand our chocolate business into new markets."
KVB's two Berlin plants will complement Cargill's existing German cocoa and chocolate facilities in Klein Schierstedt and Hamburg. Once integrated into Cargill, the business and its customers will fully benefit from Cargill's deep knowledge in cocoa and chocolate and its broad expertise in food ingredients and technologies.
Combining KVB's expertise with Cargill's consistently high standards in chocolate, its access to high quality beans at origin, and its ability to manage ingredient price risks will stimulate further growth.
De Loor added: "The integration of the KVB chocolate assets and people into Cargill will strengthen our ability to deliver efficient and innovative solutions for our customers. We plan to invest significantly in KVB's facilities to create a superior chocolate house that will enable us to offer customers greater choice, higher quality and extended market reach."
Hermann Hauertmann, CEO of KVB, stated: "This transaction provides the basis for continued growth of KVB, both in Germany as well as internationally. The global network of Cargill opens up new opportunities in terms of supply chain and optimized cost structures to the benefit of our customers. We are confident that our people and our operations will deliver significant value to Cargill's existing Cocoa and Chocolate business and look forward to develop innovative quality products for our valued customers."
Completion of the acquisition is expected in the first part of 2011.
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to sharing its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business.