Cargill Incorporated is to acquire European industrial chocolate company OCG Cacao as its first significant investment into chocolate manufacturing in Europe.
"Combining OCG with Cargill's cocoa business is an excellent strategic fit. Cargill's expertise in the origination of cocoa, the production of high quality cocoa products and financial strength will be greatly complemented by OCG's European network of facilities, chocolate expertise and growing reputation for supplying high quality chocolate to the food industry," said vice chairman of Cargill Guillaume Bastiaens.
OCG Cacao has grown rapidly since it was founded in 1997 and has chocolate processing plants in Belgium, France and the UK as well as sales offices in the USA and Germany.
Cargill does not currently manufacture industrial chocolate in the EU although it produces industrial and gourmet chocolate in the USA under its Wilbur and Peter's brands. In Europe it is a major cocoa processor, supplying liquor, butter and powder to the chocolate industry and food manufacturers worldwide.
"In joining Cargill, OCG will have the opportunity to continue its rapid growth and will continue to offer industrial chocolate customers the best quality and service in the market," said Jean Chenal of OCG.
Subject to regulatory approval, the acquisition will be completed by the end of the year.