Lotte Confectionery, the South Korean firm, is set to buy upmarket Belgian chocolate maker Guylian.

Guylian confirmed the deal today (23 June) when contacted by just-food but declined to comment further.

Financial details were undisclosed although reports have claimed Lotte will pay EUR105m (US$163m) for the business.

Lotte said the acquisition would provide a “gateway” for the company into Europe. “Our acquisition of Guylian makes our entry into the European premium chocolate market and is an important milestone in Lotte’s development as a truly global group,” said Lotte president Sang-Hoo Kim.

Guylian MD Carl Krefting insisted the sale represented a chance for the company to take advantage of growing markets in Asia.

“I am very happy that we have found a new platform for growth for the company, which is of great importance to everyone in the Guylian team in Belgium and around the world,” Krefting added.