The Barry Callebaut Group has announced it is acquiring Europe Chocolate Company (ECC), a Belgian privately-owned B2B manufacturer of chocolate specialties and decorations.
In a statement, the Swiss-headquartered company said it has signed an agreement with ECC in a strategic acquisition that will expand the Group's value adding specialties capabilities, allowing Barry Callebaut to cater to the increasing demand of food manufacturers for highly customised specialty chocolate and decorations.
ECC’s advanced inhouse developed technology will also integrate with Barry Callebaut’s specialised chocolate moulding capabilities allowing the Group to offer tailor-made solutions.
“We have a long-standing relationship with ECC and strongly believe in the growth opportunities of highly customised industrial specialty chocolate ingredients. The acquisition will help us to further broaden our market position thanks to ECC’s unique know-how and its highly flexible manufacturing facility in Belgium,” said Wim Debedts, Vice President Food Manufacturers Western Europe at Barry Callebaut.
ECC has been manufacturing specialty chocolate ingredients since 1993. Its flexible production setup allows it to supply a wide variety of customers such as biscuit, bakery, dairy, ice-cream, confectionery, and food service industries. The company operates a chocolate factory and a warehouse in Malle, close to Antwerp, Belgium.
“I am very proud of the specialty chocolate business we have built from scratch over the past close to 30 years. Joining the Barry Callebaut family will enable and accelerate ECC’s growth with access to new customers, new geographies via a broad sales network, helping to accentuate our unique proposition,” Eric Van Tichelen, Managing Director of ECC.
The acquisition is expected to close in the coming months. The parties have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the transaction.