Blog: Katy AskewADM preparing Q3 chocolate sale

Katy Askew | 6 August 2014

Agri-giant Archer Daniels Midland Company plans to sell its global chocolate operations by the end of the third quarter, the company said this week.

Speaking to analysts during a conference call, ADM president Juan Luciano said: "We expect to have signed agreement by the end of the third quarter to sell our global chocolate business." Luciano did not provide details of who the buyer was.

The move follows news in April that ADM will hold onto its cocoa presses but sell its smaller chocolate businesses after negotiations to sell both -reportedly to Cargill - collapsed.

ADM has chocolate manufacturing facilities in the US, the UK, Belgium and Germany.

The B2B supply of chocolate and cocoa has - like much of the food industry - been undergoing a process of consolidation in recent years. While ADM will hold onto the bulk of this side of its business, the prospect of a sale - particularly if it is to a player like Cargill - could help create a group capable of competing with the might of Barry Callebaut in the space.

With chocolate makers from Mondelez International to Hershey and Mars all being forced to hike prices in response to a jump in cocoa costs, the industry will likely watch developments at ADM closely.

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