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Cargill announces acquisition of German chocolate company
Our Bureau
Date of posting: 17-01-11
      Cargill, international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services, has announced that it is expanding its cocoa and chocolate business in Europe through the acquisition of the business of Schwartauer Werke GmbH & Co. KG Kakao Verarbeitung Berlin, (“KVB“), an integrated chocolate company based in Germany.

      KVB has two production plants, both in Berlin, Germany. The two plants with a capacity of over 75,000 tonnes of chocolate per year and employ around 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,” commented Jos de Loor, head of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business. According to de Loor, this acquisition would strengthen Cargill’s position in Germany, the largest chocolate market in Europe, and create opportunities to expand the 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. Cargill is active in Germany since 1955 and has around 1,600 employees in 12 locations.

      Cargill exspects that 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 would stimulate further growth. Significant investment is planned into KVB, de Loor said.

      Hermann Hauertmann, CEO of KVB commented “This transaction provides the basis for continued growth of KVB, both in Germany as well as internationally".

      Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate offers the food industry a wide range of both standard and customised cocoa and chocolate ingredients to be used in bakery, confectionery, and dairy applications all over the world. The product range includes high quality Gerkens® cocoa powders, chocolate, coatings, fillings, cocoa liquors and cocoa butters. Cocoa beans are sourced in the cocoa growing countries of the world and processing plants are in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Ghana, the Netherlands, UK and the USA.

      Completion of the acquisition is expected in the first part of 2011. KVB is part of the AOH Nahrungsmittel Group located in Bad Schwartau. The AOH Group of companies which also includes Schwartauer Werke (jams) is controlled by Dr. Arend Oetker.

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