ADM To Sell Chocolate Business To Cargill For $440 Mln

90 Hazleton Jobs To Go

03-Sep-2014 - USA

Grain processor Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) Tuesday revealed an agreement to sell its global chocolate business to Cargill for $440 million, subject to a customary working-capital adjustment. The sale is expected to close during the first half of 2015.

Included in the sale are chocolate manufacturing operations located in Hazleton, Pennsylvania; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Georgetown, Ontario; Liverpool, U.K.; Manage, Belgium; and Mannheim, Germany. About 700 employees will transfer to Cargill with the sale.

At the time of closing, ADM will end cocoa processing operations at Hazleton, Pennsylvania. This will result in the elimination of about 90 positions at that location. ADM will offer affected employees severance packages and outplacement assistance. Following the transaction, the 1,560 employees of ADM cocoa will continue to supply customers around the world with ADM's renowned deZaan cocoa ingredients from the company's cocoa operations in Mississauga, Ontario; Koog aan de Zaan and Wormer, Netherlands; Mannheim, Germany; Ilhéus, Brazil; Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire; Kumasi, Ghana; and Singapore.

ADM Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz said, "The sale of the chocolate business helps improve ADM's returns and will allow us to redeploy capital for higher-return investments."

Cargill said separately that the acquisition is an excellent fit with its existing chocolate business and brings together two organizations with strong talent, broad customer bases and extensive research and development capabilities. (dpa-AFX)

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