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Cargill intends to acquire Smet, boosting gourmet chocolate offering

(MOUSCRON and KALMTHOUT, Belgium) March 4, 2019 – Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business and Smet, a leading Belgium-based supplier of chocolate and sweets decorations to the food service and confectionary markets, announce 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. 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.

Inge Demeyere, managing director of Cargill’s chocolate activities in Europe 

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.

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.

adds Johan Smet, CEO of Smet

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.

Contact: Mariette Verbruggen, Mariette_Verbruggen@cargill.com, +31 (0)205 00 66 99

About Cargill

Cargill’s 155,000 employees across 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive.

We combine 153 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture.

About Cargill’s global cocoa and chocolate business

Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business offers the food industry a wide range of both standard and customized cocoa and chocolate ingredients for use in delicious bakery, confectionery and dairy applications all over the world. The company’s product range includes high quality Gerkens® cocoa powders, chocolate, coatings, fillings, cocoa liquors and cocoa butters. With years of experience in technical food expertise Cargill supports its customers in new recipes and new product development.

Cargill’s processing plants in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, the Netherlands, UK and the USA are in full compliance with the highest food safety standards.

To secure a good quality and sustainable supply of cocoa beans, Cargill has its own cocoa bean sourcing operations for buying, handling and exporting of cocoa beans in Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia. Presence in all the leading producing countries allows Cargill to oversee the supply chain from beans at origin to cocoa and chocolate products on its customers’ doorsteps. In addition, extensive market research and analysis proves to be a source of valuable information to customers.

More information is available at www.cargillcocoachocolate.com/

About Smet

Smet, a family-owned business founded in 1963, has evolved from being a pioneer in the chocolate industry to a leading Belgium-based brand and supplier of chocolate and sweets decorations to the food service markets. Smet has a global distribution network for gourmet products with a presence in 50 countries across the globe, 2 fully owned manufacturing sites in Belgium and Poland and almost 90 employees. The company manufactures semi-finished products from chocolate shavings to high-end chocolate toppings and decorations, as well as the processing of different chocolate types.

More information is available on https://smet.be/