ADM expands European cocoa sector

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chocolate, Archer daniels midland, Adm, Adm cocoa

Ingredients manufacturer Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has increased
its chocolate production in Europe with the takeover of a plant in
England.

The company has bought Classic Couverture from UK owners Edward Billington & Son. ADM did not comment on the terms of the agreement but local press reports indicate the price of the acquisition could have reached £10m (€14.7m)

US based ADM are a key supplier of the global confectionery industry, trading cocoa powder under the De Zaan brand name to bakeries, chocolate makers and sweet producers.

President Mark Bemis said: "This acquisition provides a solid platform for ADM Cocoa's expansion in European industrial chocolate manufacturing, allowing us to better serve our customers' finished chocolate needs."

"Classic Couverture's state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Liverpool complements our existing facilities in Europe, allowing us to maximize synergies between operations."

In addition to its advance in Europe, ADM is currently building a chocolate plant in North America which is due to begin production by mid 2007.

Sales at the company, who are one of the world's largest processors of cocoa and own 250 processing plants, reached $36.6bn (€28.8bn) for the fiscal year ending in June.

The Decatur-based company is also one of the world's largest processors of soybeans, corn and wheat, as well as a leader in the production of soybean oil and meal, ethanol, corn sweeteners and flour.

Specialist chocolate manufacturer, Classic Couverture was bought by Billington & Son in 2000.

Edward Billington & Son is one of the UK's largest private confectionery companies, its core business being its unrefined sugar sector.

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