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Chocolate takeover approved


Swiss chocolate company Barry Callebaut said this week that it has received antitrust approval to take over Germany's Stollwerck for CHF256 million (€175m).

Barry Callebaut announced on 26 April that it was set to purchase Stollwerck, one of Germany's leading chocolate firms. The acquisition would lead to a one-off charge of CHF80 million, it said. Annual synergies are estimated at CHF32 million with integration expected to take 24 months.

Callebaut will take the 96.1 per cent of Stollwerck currently held by Van Houten Beteiligungs. In 2000 Stollwerck had a net profit of €15.8 million in 2000 on sales of €716.8 million, but it expects sales in 2002 to shrink to around €510 million due to the recent sale of overseas businesses.

The German chocolate manufacturer owns brands such as Sarotti, Gubor and Alpia with approximately 60 per cent of its sales generated in Germany. Barry Callebaut had a net profit of CHF97.1 million in its fiscal year ended 31 August 2001, on sales of CHF2.5 billion.

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