EU regulators okay Barry Callebaut to buy Petra Foods cocoa unit

BRUSSELS, June 7 Fri Jun 7, 2013 5:45am EDT

BRUSSELS, June 7 (Reuters) - EU regulators gave the green light on Friday for Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut to buy the cocoa business of Singaporean group Petra Foods.

The EU's executive Commission found that the market would still face sufficient competition after the two firms merged.

"In the markets for the production and sale of semi-finished cocoa products, the parties' activities focus on different regions, since Petra Foods is mainly active in Asia," the Commission said in a statement.

The Swiss-based firm is the world's biggest maker of finished chocolate products for clients such as Nestle and Hershey, and buys roughly 650,000 tonnes of cocoa annually around the globe.

The $950 million acquisition of Petra Food's cocoa business should raise that number to roughly 1 million tonnes, and give Barry Callebaut access to high-growth emerging markets. [ID: nL5E8NC2T2]

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