Create a free account to continue

Top Chocolate Maker Buys Stake In Malaysian Cocoa

World's largest chocolate producer, Barry Callebaut, will acquire a 60 percent stake in KL Kepong Cocoa Products as part of its expansion in Asia.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Barry Callebaut, the world's largest chocolate producer, will acquire a 60 percent stake in Malaysia's KL Kepong Cocoa Products as part of its expansion in Asia, the two companies said Monday.
The partnership will allow the Zurich-based company to establish its cocoa business in Asia and give KL Kepong Cocoa a global platform to expand, according to a joint statement.
''The chocolate market in Asia-Pacific is expected to grow by more than 30 percent in volume over the next four years and we want to participate in this growth,'' said Patrick De Maeseneire, Barry Callebaut's chief executive.
''With our rapidly growing chocolate business in Asia, we have an equally growing need for cocoa products. In that regard Asia has been a blank spot on the map for us that we wanted to fill,'' he said.
The investment will help the Callebaut expand its footprint in Asia and make it easier for the company to get cocoa beans from Indonesia, the world's third largest cocoa producer, he said.
Barry Callebaut will acquire the 60 percent stake from KL Kepong's parent, plantation firm Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad, it said. The statement didn't say how much the deal is worth.
Upon completion of the sale, KL Kepong Cocoa will change its name to Barry Callebaut Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., the statement said.
KL Kepong Cocoa, one of Asia's top cocoa manufacturer, has annual sales of 500 million ringgit (US$150 million; euro95 million).
Barry Callebaut operates in 23 countries and has more than 30 production facilities worldwide. In Asia, it has chocolate factories in Singapore, Japan and China.
More in Supply Chain