The Archer Daniels Midland Company is holding discussions to sell its cocoa ingredients business - a business unit that saw profits plunge 24% last year.
Spokesperson Jackie Anderson issued the following statement yesterday: “Consistent with our commitment to create shareholder value, we regularly evaluate strategic options and maintain ongoing dialogue with other agribusiness companies to explore opportunities.
“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.”
ConfectioneryNews spoke to Anderson, but she said the company was giving no further details at this time.
We asked the world's largest cocoa grinder, Cargill, if it was interested.
Communications officer Laura Brems said: "At any one time Cargill is assessing a number of initiatives to progress its business strategy. It is our policy that we will communicate as and when there is anything definitive. We do not comment on rumours or speculation."
ADM Cocoa: Profit down 24% last year
ADM Cocoa processes cocoa beans into cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, chocolate, and various compounds across all continents.
In the company’s full year results operating profit in its ‘Cocoa and Other’ segment fell 24% on the previous year to $183m.
The segment accounted for 7% of the company total $2.5 billion operating profit for the year.
Volumes for cocoa and milling in fiscal 2012 were roughly flat at 7,156 MT.
ADM #3 cocoa grinder
ADM Cocoa is currently the third largest cocoa grinder in volume terms globally.
Cargill is now the world’s largest cocoa grinder, but will become number two when Barry Callebaut finalizes its acquisition of Petra Foods’ cocoa ingredients division for $950, expected this summer.
ADM has the fourth largest sales volumes for industrial chocolate behind Barry Callebaut, Cargill and Blommer respectively.