Barry Callebaut Agrees To Acquire GKC Foods In Australia
Chocolate maker Barry Callebaut has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire GKC Foods in Australia for an undisclosed amount.
The acquisition will mark Barry Callebaut’s direct presence and manufacturing capacity in the Australian market.
It will also allow the company to expand its presence in the industrial chocolate market and maximise growth in value-added gourmet and specialties business in Australia and New Zealand.
Ben De Schryver, president of Barry Callebaut in the Asia Pacific, commented, “We strongly believe in the growth opportunities of the Australian and New Zealand chocolate confectionery markets.
“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.”
The deal, subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, is expected to close before the end of this calendar year, the company added.
GKC Foods operates a chocolate factory and a warehouse in Melbourne and manufactures organic and vegan chocolates for chocolate shops, gourmet delis, specialty food outlets, and retailers in Australia and New Zealand.
Upgrade And Expand
As part of the deal, Barry Callebaut will upgrade and expand the existing infrastructure of the factory of GKC Foods.
This will include the installation of a new state-of-the-art chocolate production line, and the deployment of an integrated management system to enhance automated production, the company said.
The chocolate giant will also create 50 new positions in the factory in addition to GKC Foods' existing employees, who will transfer to Barry Callebaut upon completion of the transaction.
Commenting on the acquisition, managing director of GKC Foods, John Borell, said, "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."
In 2019, Australia and New Zealand have recorded the highest per-capita chocolate consumption, of approximately 5 kilograms, in the Asia Pacific region, according to data from Euromonitor,
In addition, data from Nielsen revealed that between January - December 2019, the chocolate confectionery market in Australia increased by 5.2% compared to a global growth of 1.3%.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.