Barry Callebaut sees flat cocoa prices, Petra deal on track

ZURICH Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:48am EST

ZURICH Jan 16 (Reuters) - Barry Callebaut, the world's biggest maker of chocolate and cocoa products, expects the cocoa price to stay flat for the time being and possibly move higher in future.

"We are not seeing a significant change from a sideways trend. Longer term, it will be more volatile and maybe even higher prices," Chief Financial Officer Victor Balli told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Balli added that Barry Callebaut was on track with the takeover of the cocoa business of Singaporean group Petra Foods it announced in December and was sticking to a plan to finance the deal with $300 million of equity and the rest with debt.

"We are getting ready to execute that right around the closing of the transaction in summer 2013," he said.

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