ADM to sell global cocoa business to Olam

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is to sell its global cocoa business to Olam International, the global commodity processer and trader, for £830m ($1.8bn).

The company said the sale would free capital for “higher-return and less-volatile investments.”

The sale encompasses ADM’s entire global cocoa business, including processing facilities in Mississauga, Canada; Koog aan de Zaan and Wormer, Netherlands; Mannheim, Germany; Ilhéus, Brazil; Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire; Kumasi, Ghana; and Singapore. Also included is ADM’s buying stations in Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, and Indonesia, as well as the company’s deZaan and UNICAO brands.

ADM chairman and chief executive Patricia Woertz said: “We are continuing to actively manage our portfolio to create shareholder value by improving returns and dampening the volatility of our earnings,

“This transaction will allow us to redeploy capital to investments that offer improved returns potential and less volatility than the cocoa business, or distribute excess capital to shareholders, or a combination of both.”

The majority of the approximately 1,550 colleagues in ADM’s cocoa business will transfer to Olam with the sale.

The proposed sale, which is contingent on customary regulatory approvals, is expected to close during the second quarter of 2015.

This transaction does not impact the sale of ADM’s chocolate business to Cargill, which is progressing as planned.

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