The Barry Callebaut Group has agreed to acquire chocolate producer GKC Foods, as it looks to strengthen its position in the Australian and New Zealand markets.
Melbourne-based GKC Foods is a B2B manufacturer, which supplies chocolate and related products to consumer brands nationally, and in New Zealand.
The acquisition will establish Barry Callebaut’s direct presence and manufacturing capacity in Australia. It will also, the chocolate processor says, enhance the Group’s position in the industrial market and allow it to exploit its Gourmet & Specialties business in Australia and New Zealand.
The deal will see GKC Foods’ factory upgraded with the installation of a new chocolate production line and the deployment of an integrated management system with automated production benefits.
Ben De Schryver, president of Barry Callebaut Asia Pacific (left) and John Borell, managing director of GKC Foods (right), in the virtual signing ceremony.
Barry Callebaut already has a substantial footprint in the Asia Pacific region with more than 1,800 employees, and ten chocolate and cocoa factories in Asia alone.
Construction on a facility in India began in July last year, while a plant in Indonesia opened its doors the following month.
“We strongly believe in the growth opportunities of the Australian and New Zealand chocolate confectionery markets,” said Ben De Schryver, president of Barry Callebaut in Asia Pacific.
“We already have the highest quality products today and we will further grow our competitive advantage through the acquisition of, and investment in, the best-in-class GKC Foods manufacturing facility in Australia.”
John Borell, managing director of GKC Foods, added: “I am very proud of the great chocolate business we have built from scratch over the past 35 years.
“Our agreement with Barry Callebaut will ensure the successful future of GKC Foods and our team as part of a large international group. We really appreciate the business principles and the team spirit on which Barry Callebaut is based.”
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, is expected to be completed before the end of 2020.
The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020