* Cargill previously in negotiations to buy ADM -sources
* ADM has chocolate plants in North America, Europe
(Adds details on why negotiations ended, quote from analyst,
NEW YORK dateline, bylines)
By Marcy Nicholson and Tom Polansek
NEW YORK/CHICAGO, April 15 Archer Daniels
Midland Co on Tuesday said it will keep its cocoa
presses but still wants to sell its chocolate business after
long-running negotiations to sell the money-losing operations to
a buyer collapsed.
Global agribusiness ADM said in a statement that extensive
negotiations with a potential buyer did not reach an "outcome
that met ADM's objectives." It did not name any suitors.
Sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters last year
that Cargill Inc had been in final-stage talks with
ADM to buy ADM's cocoa and chocolate businesses. With ADM
representing about a quarter of global cocoa bean processing
capacity, the deal would have created a company big enough to
compete with Barry Callebaut AG, the world's largest
maker of industrial chocolate.
Cargill declined to comment on ADM's cocoa or chocolate
Legal experts have warned that the two companies' global
reach and the concentration of capacity in Europe would have
raised antitrust issues.
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
The news came as ADM announced plans to buy the remaining 20
percent stake of grain trader Alfred C. Toepfer International to
give it 100 percent ownership. Since 2002, ADM has owned 80
percent of Toepfer; Union InVivo has held the remaining 20
percent since 2010.
ADM's pursuit of a buyer for its chocolate business and its
sale of South American fertilizer operations show that the
company is focusing on its core grain operations, said Philippe
de Laperouse, director of HighQuest Partners' global food and
agribusiness practice and a former Bunge executive.
ADM said it struck a deal to sell its fertilizer business in
Brazil and Paraguay to Mosaic Company for $350 million.
(Additional reporting by Josephine Mason in New York; Editing
by Leslie Adler and Lisa Shumaker)