Chocolate and cocoa products maker Barry Callebaut Group has signed an agreement to acquire the Belgium-based Europe Chocolate Company (ECC) for an undisclosed amount.
Europe Chocolate Company is a privately-owned B2B manufacturer of chocolate specialties and decorations.
The acquisition will enable the group to cater to the increasing demand for highly customised specialty chocolate and decoration from food manufacturers.
Wim Debedts, vice-president of food manufacturers Western Europe at Barry Callebaut, said, “We have a long-standing relationship with ECC and strongly believe in the growth opportunities of highly customised industrial specialty chocolate ingredients.
“The acquisition will help us to further broaden our market position thanks to ECC’s unique know-how and its highly flexible manufacturing facility in Belgium.”
The integration of Europe Chocolate Company will add to Barry Callebaut’s specialised chocolate moulding capabilities and allows the group to offer tailor-made solutions backed by ECC’s advanced in-house technology.
Speciality Chocolate Ingredients
ECC has been manufacturing speciality chocolate ingredients since 1993. Currently, it produces a wide range of industrial speciality chocolate and decorations in multiple tastes and colour variations, including batons, curls, chunks, leaves, and shavings.
A flexible production setup allows it to cater to a wide variety of customers in the biscuit, bakery, dairy, ice-cream, confectionery, and foodservice industries, Barry Callebaut added.
The company operates a chocolate factory and a warehouse in Malle, close to Antwerp, Belgium.
Eric Van Tichelen, managing director of ECC, said, “I am very proud of the speciality chocolate business we have built from scratch over the past 30 years.
“Joining the Barry Callebaut family will enable and accelerate ECC’s growth with access to new customers, new geographies via a broad sales network, helping to accentuate our unique proposition.”
The acquisition is expected to close in the following months, Barry Callebaut said.