Barry Callebaut, a leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products based in Zurich, has reached an agreement with Petra Foods Ltd., Singapore, to acquire Petra Foods Ltd.’s cocoa ingredients division. The division is, according to Barry Callebaut, the largest cocoa products supplier in Asia, with a global sales volume of 265,000 metric tons and 47,000 metric tons of co-manufacturing volumes for large accounts, sales revenue of $1.3 billion (1.1 billion Swiss francs) and 1,700 employees in fiscal year 2011. The business also has a significant global footprint across four continents, with 405,000 metric tons of bean-grinding capacity in seven processing facilities and four sales offices.

The integration of Petra Foods’ cocoa ingredients division will make Barry Callebaut the largest global cocoa processor. The transaction also includes a long-term agreement with Petra Foods’ branded consumer division to supply it with cocoa products covering 75% of its total needs.

“This acquisition is an excellent strategic fit that will support our future global growth,” says Barry Callebaut chairman Andreas Jacobs. “The integration of Petra Foods’ cocoa ingredients division into our group is expected to strengthen Barry Callebaut’s earnings per share. This significant transaction will allow us to continue our expansion strategy in all regions and capture additional opportunities through outsourcing and partnership agreements as well as in gourmet.”

Juergen Steinemann, Barry Callebaut’s CEO, adds: “The acquisition marks a major step forward in the implementation of our four-pillar growth strategy. A stronger integrated position in sustainable cocoa sourcing and processing is important to keep growing our chocolate business over-proportionally, especially in emerging markets. The deal also allows us to become a strategic supplier of specialty cocoa powders and meet the growing integrated value chain requirements of our customers and partners. Moreover, Barry Callebaut will gain valuable know-how and become even more global thanks to all the new colleagues whom we will welcome with open arms upon closing the planned transaction.”

The transaction is subject to approval by Petra Foods’ shareholders as well as by regulatory authorities. The closing of the transaction is expected in summer 2013.