Cargill given green light on KVB cocoa merger

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cocoa, European union, Adm cocoa

Cargill given green light on KVB cocoa merger
Cargill’s takeover of Schwartauer KVB has been cleared by the European Commission, giving the US giant the green light to phase in the operations of the German semi-finished cocoa supplier.

The EU competition watchdog found the deal would not raise competition concerns, saying the merged entity would continue to face pressure from a number of other strong industrial chocolate suppliers.

And cocoa product buyers, added the Commission, would still be able to access “sufficient alternative suppliers” ​serving the European market.

Cargill’s Cocoa and Chocolate unit announced in January this year that it was acquiring Schwartauer KVB, in a bid to strengthen its position in Germany, the largest chocolate market in Europe.

KVB produces, sells and distributes cocoa liquor, cocoa powder ,cocoa butter and industrial chocolate. Its two production sites in Berlin have a total annual capacity of over 75,000 tonnes of chocolate and employees totalling 180.

Jos de Loor, head of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business, said earlier this year that the KVB sites will complement its own German cocoa and chocolate facilities in Klein Schierstedt and Hamburg.

Cargill, he continued, plans “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.”

ADM expansion

The German market is proving fertile ground for semi-finished cocoa processors, with this month seeing ADM Cocoa opening a new chocolate technical centre in Mannheim to complement similar operations in London and Singapore.

A spokesperson for the division told sister site FoodNavigator recently: “We are investing in ‘advantage centres’ in Europe and beyond, and want our cocoa and chocolate solutions to be industry leaders.”

ADM is actively expanding its “global presence” ​in cocoa and chocolate manufacturing. This was signalled in 2009 on a European level by the acquisition of top German industrial chocolate and cocoa powder manufacturer, ADM Schokinaeg.

In September last year, ADM Cocoa bolstered its European sales force with several new appointments including a new cocoa technologist and sales manager at its Szamotuly office in Poland, to leverage, it said, the predicted growth in the chocolate market there and in other Eastern European markets.

Related topics: Commodities, Cocoa & Sugar

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