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Rolle (ots) - Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) today announced an important step in the expansion of its global cocoa and chocolate business with the signing of an agreement to purchase Schokinag-Schokolade-Industrie Herrmann GmbH & Co. KG, one of Europe's leading producers of chocolate and cocoa powder. The purchase is subject to approval by relevant antitrust authorities.
ADM is a premier, global supplier of cocoa and chocolate ingredients, serving customers in the confectionery, bakery, dairy and other food industries with a comprehensive range of quality cocoa powders, cocoa liquors and cocoa butters, as well as chocolate and compound confectionery products.
"This acquisition will be an excellent fit for our business as we continue to enhance our global presence across the entire cocoa and chocolate value chain. The expertise of the people, the tradition of quality represented in Schokinag and the scope of the physical assets make our acquisition an important step in positioning ADM to become the preferred supplier of cocoa and chocolate solutions for European customers," said Mark Bemis, vice president, ADM Cocoa and Milling.
ADM Cocoa, best known for its premium De Zaan(r), Ambrosia(r), Merckens(r) and Unicao(r) brands of cocoa and chocolate products, is already a leading industrial chocolate manufacturer in North America. In 2006, it acquired the assets of Classic Couverture Ltd., a United Kingdom-based chocolate manufacturer for the business-to-business market. More recently, the Company opened a new cocoa and chocolate manufacturing plant in Hazleton, Pa., USA, and is completing a new cocoa processing facility in Kumasi, Ghana.
"ADM's acquisition of Schokinag will strengthen our position in Europe, the world's largest chocolate market," said Scott Walker, managing director, ADM Cocoa International. "By integrating Schokinag into our cocoa business, we will better serve this steadily growing chocolate market and realize significant efficiencies in sourcing, operations and transportation."
Schokinag, headquartered in Mannheim, Germany, manufactures chocolate and other cocoa products in Mannheim and in Manage, Belgium; and has sales offices in Ludlow, UK; and Bakersfield, Calif., USA.
"For the people of Schokinag and for our customers, I see this as a great opportunity," said Hans Hermann, owner and chief executive of Schokinag. "ADM Cocoa's global strengths in sourcing and processing, combined with Schokinag's long tradition and service to European and global chocolate markets, are a combination that is a good foundation for future growth for our employees, our valued customers and the Mannheim community."
Every day, the 27,000 people of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) turn crops into renewable products that meet the demands of a growing world. At more than 230 processing plants, we convert corn, oilseeds, wheat and cocoa into products for food, animal feed, chemical and energy uses. We operate the world's premier crop origination and transportation network, connecting crops and markets in more than 60 countries. Our global headquarters is in Decatur, Illinois, and our net sales for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008, were $70 billion. For more information about our Company and our products, visit http://www.adm.com
ots Originaltext: ADM International Sàrl
Director, External Communications
Director, European Marketing and Communications