Olam’s ‘complex’ ADM cocoa deal hits delay

By Hal Conick

- Last updated on GMT

Once the transaction is completed, Olam will have 700,000 metric tons of cocoa pressing capabilities.
Once the transaction is completed, Olam will have 700,000 metric tons of cocoa pressing capabilities.

Related tags Archer daniels midland European commission Adm

Singapore-based Olam’s $1.3bn acquisition of Archer Daniels Midland’s global cocoa business has hit a bump in the road, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Olam International Ltd was supposed to complete its acquisition by Q2 of this year, but August 2015 filings show that the deal will now scheduled to be completed by Q4 of this year.

Asked why the deal had been delayed, an Olam spokesperson told ConfectioneryNews: “We are proceeding well on a complex transaction​.”

Olam growing bigger, ADM shedding costs

Once completed, the sale will give Olam 700,000 metric tons of cocoa pressing capacity. This means it will account for 16% of the cocoa processing across the world, just behind Barry Callebaut and Cargill.

For the Q2 2015, ADM brought in $17.2bn in revenue compared with $21.5bn during the same period last year.

“The global chocolate and cocoa businesses do not comprise a major component of the company’s operations and therefore do not meet the criteria to be classified as discontinued operations,”​ ADM said in the most recent SEC filing.

As of Tuesday, ADM could be reached for comment concerning the delay on this deal.

History of the deal

In July, the European Commission approved the transaction​ between the two companies, saying that there were no competition concerns.

Previous to the approval, FoodNavigator-USA reported that ADM chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz said the deal would allow ADM to "redeploy capital to investments that offer improved returns​ potential and less volatility than the cocoa business, or distribute excess capital to shareholders, or a combination of both.”

The deal is set to include ADM’s cocoa processing facilities, warehouses, innovation centers, as well as its deZaan brand. ADM’s global chocolate business will not be included, as it was sold to Cargill for $440m in September, 2014.

In announcing what it claimed to be ‘one of the world’s most advanced cocoa plants’ in Côte d’Ivoire, Africa, earlier this year, an Olam spokesperson told ConfectioneryNews​: "All of Olam’s existing infrastructure will remain in operation, including usinage plants, processing stations and warehousing operations." ​They did not say whether the ADM Abidjan plant was currently operational.

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