Petras cocoa ingredients assets changed hands this summer

Petra's cocoa ingredients assets changed hands this summer

Singapore-based confectioner Petra Foods has taken its M&A dispute with Barry Callebaut to arbitration.

Petra said today (17 December) it had filed a notice at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre to resolve the row over the price Barry Callebaut wants to pay for the company's cocoa ingredients business.

In October, Barry Callebaut applied for a discount of US$98m on the deal, which was struck last year and closed this summer for $860m.

Petra has rejected the claim, arguing it does not have a "proper or valid basis and/or have not been properly substantiated or justified".

Last December, Barry Callebaut agreed to pay $950m for Petra's cocoa ingredients arm. In July, when the transaction was finalised, Barry Callebaut said working capital adjustments meant it would pay $860m "subject to final adjustments following the closing".

When contacted by just-food in October, Barry Callebaut was coy about the reasons for its claim. It said the "final adjustments following the closing" of the deal indicated in July represented "the valuation of various items" but declined to comment further.

"This dispute related to the final purchase price does not affect in any way the operational performance or the integration of the recently acquired cocoa business; it will however affect the calculation of the final purchase consideration and goodwill," Barry Callebaut said.

The assets, now part of Barry Callebaut, have bolstered Barry Callebaut's volumes in Asia and Latin America and included seven plants in Asia and Europe, as well as sales offices in Singapore, the Netherlands and the US.