The two companies did not disclose the financial details of the transaction, which is subject to assessment by European compeititon regulators.
Spokesperson for Sweet Products, Jean-Marie van Logtestijn, told ConfectioneryNews.com this morning that the firms, which have worked together for the past 15 years, had opened talks on the sale of Stollwerck back in December last year.
The newly acquired chocolate business, he continued, complements the current chocolate product portfolio of its Baroni Group. The spokesperson added that the immediate focus for the parent group would be “to grow the existing Stollwerck business rather than expand into emerging markets.”
Belgium based Sweet Products is a privately owned family company and the parent of the Baronie Group of companies, which produces a wide portfolio of branded, private label products and third party branded chocolates.
Stollwerck includes five factories in Germany, Belgium and Switzerland, and employs about 1,700 people.
Focus on higher margins
Barry Callebaut, several years ago, announced a strategic decision to exit the consumer sector and focus on its core, higher margin, industrial business.
But a plan by the Zurich group to sell the Stollwerck division, which it bought in 2002, to Spanish company Natra fell through in September 2009.
Euromonitor company analyst Ildiko Szalai told this publication that Barry Callebaut used Stollwerck’s assets for its contract manufacturing business.
According to the Swiss group, private label products make up more than half of total Stollwerck sales. The remainder of sales are generated from co-manufacturing and three branded products: Sarotti, Jaques and Alprose.
Barry Callebaut said the deal also includes a new long-term supply agreement with Baronie for the supply of roughly 25,000 tonnes of liquid chocolate as well as an additional amount of cocoa beans and semi-finished products.