US agribusiness giant Cargill has remained coy over reports it is exploring the possibility of buying Archer Daniels Midland’s cocoa business.

ADM last month confirmed it was in talks over a potential sale of its cocoa business. A spokesperson for the group said the company was evaluating “strategic options” for the unit as part of its long-term commitment to “create shareholder value”.

According to a Reuters report yesterday (2 July), Cargill performed due diligence on the ADM business last month. Reuters, however, said it was “unclear” whether Cargill has placed, or intends to place, a bid for ADM’s unit, which is estimated to be worth around US$2bn.

A spokesperson for Cargill told just-food: “At any one time Cargill is assessing a number of initiatives to progress its business strategy. It is our policy that we will communicate as and when there is anything definitive. We do not comment on rumours or speculation.”

Cargill and ADM are the second- and third-largest cocoa grinders worldwide. Barry Callebaut took the top spot after its acquisition of Petra Foods’ cocoa ingredients business, which closed at the weekend.