ADM in talks to sell cocoa business

by Ron Sterk
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DECATUR, ILL. — Archer Daniels Midland Co. said it was in “ongoing discussions” about the potential sale of its cocoa business, but there was “no assurance” that a transaction may be signed.

“Consistent with our commitment to create shareholder value, we regularly evaluate strategic options and maintain ongoing dialogue with other agribusiness companies to explore opportunities,” the company said. “We are currently engaged in discussions about the potential sale of our cocoa business. These discussions are ongoing, and there can be no assurance that they will result in the signing of a transaction or definitive agreement. We will communicate further if appropriate.”

ADM is one of the world’s largest cocoa processors, although cocoa makes up a relatively small amount of the company’s total business. Cocoa was estimated to have made up 4.2% of ADM’s revenue in 2012, with some reports indicating the business may be worth about $2 billion.

Earlier this year, ADM Cocoa restructured its organization into five key regions and business units, a move the company said reflected a desire to “enhance the level of service and support offered to customers” by its global cocoa and chocolate team. As a full service provider, ADM offers a number of differentiated cocoa and chocolate solutions, including D11EB dark cocoa powder, Fresco Cacao F11FR powder, DZFM 7000 cocoa mass mild non-bitter cocoa products and Astra A cocoa butter.

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