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Barry Callebaut to acquire largest cocoa supplier in Asia

By Nathan Gray , 12-Dec-2012
Last updated on 12-Dec-2012 at 23:27 GMT

Barry Callebaut is set to acquire the cocoa ingredients division of Petra Foods in a $950 million (€730m) deal that will see the firm ‘significantly strengthen its position in cocoa processing'.

The Swiss confectionery giant will pay $950 million cash for the cocoa ingredients business of Singapore-based Petra Foods in a deal that will see it become the world's largest processor of cocoa.

Petra Foods' cocoa division is the largest cocoa products supplier in Asia, with a global sales revenue of $1.3 billion (aprox €1bn) in 2011 and 1,700 employees. The deal includes Petra's entire cocoa ingredients business, including seven factories in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Germany and France – in addition to sales offices in Singapore, the Netherlands and the United States.

Barry Callebaut, which manufactures chocolate for Nestle and Hershey, said Petra’s cocoa division is an ‘excellent strategic fit at the core of Barry Callebaut’s cocoa and chocolate business’ adding that the deal will support long term growth by ‘stepping up’ the firms integrated cocoa sourcing and processing activities.

 The global player said the purchase will also support further partnerships with big confectioners.

"The acquisition marks a major step forward in the implementation of our four-pillar growth strategy,” said Juergen Steinemann, CEO of Barry Callebaut. “A stronger integrated position in sustainable cocoa sourcing and processing is important to keep growing our chocolate business over-proportionally, especially in emerging markets.”

“The deal also allows us to become a strategic supplier of specialty cocoa powders and meet the growing integrated value chain requirements of our customers and partners.”

Andreas Jacobs, chairman of Barry Callebaut, said the integration of Petra Foods' cocoa ingredients division into the group is also expected to strengthen Barry Callebaut's earnings per share.

“This significant transaction will allow us to continue our expansion strategy in all regions and capture additional opportunities through outsourcing and partnership agreements as well as in Gourmet," he said.

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