Cargill will acquire Smet Chocolaterie, a Belgium-based supplier of chocolate and sweet decorations to the food service and confectionery markets.
Inge Demeyere, managing director for Cargill’s European chocolate operations, says the acquisition will allow Cargill to broaden its service to the bakery, hospitality and food service industries.
“Smet enjoys great market recognition,” Demeyere said. “As their brand joins Cargill’s existing brand portfolio, their unique entrepreneurial capabilities will be leveraged to allow for a dedicated focus on gourmet customers. Together we intend to further strengthen our customer relationships and we look forward to continuing to serve customers’ chocolate needs, today and in the future.”
Both companies’ customers will benefit from increased intimacy and speed-to-market with new decoration technology, enhanced production capabilities and a wide-ranging product portfolio. Smet has a global distribution network for gourmet products, two fully owned manufacturing sites in Belgium and Poland, and almost 90 employees. 
“Cargill provides us with a unique opportunity to serve our customers with a globally integrated cocoa and chocolate supply chain, a renowned sustainability approach and deep chocolate expertise,” Smet CEO Johan Smet said.
The transaction, subject to consultation procedures with employee representative bodies, is expected to close in the first half of 2019.