Archer Daniels Midland Co. is selling its global chocolate business to Cargill for $440 million.
The agribusiness company said Tuesday that the sale will give it the opportunity to redeploy capital to other areas and improve its returns. Cargill said that ADM's chocolate operations are an excellent fit with its existing chocolate business and will help to better serve its customers.
The sale includes chocolate manufacturing operations in Hazleton, Pennsylvania; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Georgetown, Ontario, Canada; Liverpool, U.K.; Manage, Belgium; and Mannheim, Germany.
ADM said that about 700 workers will transfer to the privately held Cargill, a Minnesota-based provider of food agriculture, financial, and industrial products and services.
Cocoa processing operations at Hazleton will end once the deal closes, resulting in the elimination of approximately 90 positions. Cocoa operations run by 1,560 employees will still be active in Mississauga, Ontario; Koog aan de Zaan and Wormer, Netherlands; Mannheim, Germany; Ilhéus, Brazil; Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire; Kumasi, Ghana; and Singapore.
The transaction is targeted to close in the first half of 2015.
Shares of ADM, based in Chicago, rose 14 cents to $50 in morning trading.