ADM presses on to sell chocolate business after talks fall through

CHICAGO, April 15 Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:47pm EDT

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CHICAGO, April 15 (Reuters) - Archer Daniels Midland Co on Tuesday said it will move ahead with attempts to sell its global chocolate business after extensive negotiations to sell its chocolate and cocoa operations fell apart.

ADM said it will retain most of its cocoa press operations, while selling the chocolate business.

Cargill last year was in the final stage of a deal to buy ADM's cocoa business, people familiar with the discussions said.

ADM and Cargill make up part of a group of companies known as the "ABCD" that dominate the flow of agricultural commodities around the world. The other two are Bunge Ltd and Louis Dreyfus Corp.

Separately, ADM said it will acquire the remaining 20 percent stake of grain trader Alfred C. Toepfer International for 83 million euros. Since 2002, ADM has owned 80 percent of Toepfer; Union InVivo has held the remaining 20 percent since 2010.

ADM struck a deal to sell its fertilizer business in Brazil and Paraguay to Mosaic Co for $350 million. (Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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