Olam to acquire Spanish commodities company

by Eric Schroeder
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SINGAPORE — Olam International Ltd. has reached agreement to acquire a 75.2% interest in Macao Commodities Trading S.L. (MCT) for approximately €15 million ($20 million). The transaction includes all land, buildings, inventories of MCT and its shareholding in Solimar Food Ingredients (SFI). As part of the agreement, Olam has the option to acquire the remaining 24.8% interest over the next five years.

Established in 1994 in Valencia, Spain, MCT supplies cocoa powder, cocoa beans, desiccated coconut, dried fruits, vegetable fats and dairy products to the chocolate, beverage and biscuit Industries in the Iberian region. According to Olam, Macao is a well-recognized cocoa powder brand in Spain with a strong and growing market share.

Solimar Food Ingredients was formed in 2005 as a 51:49 joint venture between MCT and Olam. The joint venture’s modern European facility mills cocoa cake to cocoa powder, providing a range of customized, high specification natural and alkalized powders to customers in Spain and export markets.

“This transaction provides an accelerated entry into the Spanish and larger Iberian market for Olam,” Olam said. “Spain is the world’s second largest importer of cocoa solids and a large cocoa processing country with a rich chocolate tradition.

“The acquisition of MCT provides a single ownership structure for SFI to enhance its capabilities to provide the current customers of MCT and Olam with increased service and value. Combining these strengths will create a strong platform for growth and product development with a unified R.&D. to meet new customer requirements.

“The business offers customer sharing and product development synergies for Olam’s cocoa, beverage, nuts, dairy and fats businesses. The addition of the MCT processing and trading business to Olam’s value chain provides assured liquidity for the cocoa solids business from origin factories. Olam will integrate MCT within a secure supply chain and provide financing, marketing, hedging expertise, market information and analysis as well as risk management solutions to customers.”

Olam added the acquisition offers the potential for further expansion with Iberian customers and new markets for chocolate, bakery and beverage ingredients.

Headquartered in Singapore, Olam International is a global integrated supply chain manager and processor of agricultural products and food ingredients, sourcing 20 products with a direct presence in 64 countries. The company’s business operations include cocoa, coffee, cashew, sesame, rice, cotton and wood products.

In June 2010, Olam acquired the Gilroy Foods & Flavors dehydrated and vegetable product operations of Omaha-based ConAgra Foods, Inc. for $250 million.

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