Europe approves Olam's purchase of ADM cocoa business

by Jeff Gelski
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The European Commission, however, has yet to rule on Cargill’s proposed acquisition of ADMs industrial chocolate business.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The European Commission on June 11 said it had approved Olam International Ltd.’s acquisition of Archer Daniels Midland Co.’s cocoa business. The commission concluded the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the two companies’ moderate combined market positions and the presence of a number of strong players supplying beans and cocoa products in the European Economic Area (E.E.A.).

Chicago-based ADM on Dec. 15, 2014, originally announced the proposed acquisition in which Singapore-based Olam International agreed to pay $1.3 billion, subject to customary adjustments. The sale encompasses ADM’s entire global cocoa business, including processing facilities in Mississauga, Ont.; Koog aan de Zaan and Wormer, The Netherlands; Mannheim, Germany; Ilhéus, Brazil; Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Kumasi, Ghana; and Singapore. Also included in the sale are ADM’s buying stations in Brazil, Cameron, Côte d’Ivoire and Indonesia and ADM’s deZaan and UNICAO brands.

The European Commission has yet to rule on Cargill’s proposed acquisition of ADM’s industrial chocolate business. The commission on Feb. 23 of this year announced it had opened an in-depth investigation of the proposed deal because of potential competition concerns in the supply of industrial chocolate to customers in Germany and the United Kingdom.

ADM on Sept. 2, 2014, originally announced it had agreed to sell its global chocolate business to Minneapolis-based Cargill for $440 million. Included in the sale are chocolate manufacturing operations in Hazleton, Pa.; Milwaukee; Georgetown, Ont.; Liverpool, United Kingdom; Manage, Belgium; and Mannheim.
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