Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business and Smet, a Belgium-based supplier of chocolate and sweets decorations to the food service and confectionery markets, have announced their intent to bring together their global gourmet chocolate activities.
“The proposed acquisition emphasizes Cargill’s commitment to its customers in the gourmet segment, building on the strengths of both organisations and enhancing complementary capabilities. We will broaden our product portfolio and services to artisans and chocolatiers, bakery, hospitality businesses and food service industries,” says Inge Demeyere, managing director of Cargill’s chocolate activities in Europe, “Smet enjoys great market recognition. 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.”
The combined business will provide significant opportunities to accelerate growth in the gourmet segment. Customers will benefit from increased intimacy and high 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.
“For over five decades, Smet is driven by a passion for chocolate and stands out with a relentless problem-solving attitude, innovative mindset and great flexibility,” says Theo Graban, executive member of the Board of Smet. Johan Smet, CEO of Smet, to add: “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.”
Entry into the acquisition agreement is subject to information and/or consultation procedures with the appropriate employee representative bodies. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2019.