The Barry Callebaut Group, the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, has signed an agreement to acquire Europe Chocolate Company (ECC), a Belgian privately-owned B2B manufacturer of chocolate specialties and decorations.
This strategic acquisition expands the Group's value-adding specialties capabilities, allowing Barry Callebaut to cater to the increasing demand of food manufacturers for highly customized specialty chocolate and decorations. The integration of ECC expands Barry Callebaut's specialized chocolate molding capabilities and allows the Group to offer tailor-made solutions thanks to ECC's advanced in-house developed technology.
ECC has been manufacturing specialty chocolate ingredients since 1993. Today, ECC produces a wide range of industrial specialty chocolate and decorations in multiple taste and color variations, including batons, curls, chunks, leaves, and shavings. Its flexible production setup allows it to supply various customers such as biscuit, bakery, dairy, ice-cream, confectionery, and foodservice industries. The company operates a chocolate factory and a warehouse in Malle, close to Antwerp, Belgium.
"We have a long-standing relationship with ECC and strongly believe in the growth opportunities of highly customized industrial specialty chocolate ingredients. The acquisition will help us to broaden our market position further thanks to ECC's unique know-how and its highly flexible manufacturing facility in Belgium," Wim Debedts, vice president of Food Manufacturers Western Europe at Barry Callebaut.
"I am very proud of the specialty chocolate business we have built from scratch for close to 30 years. Joining the Barry Callebaut family will enable and accelerate ECC's growth with access to new customers, new geographies via a broad sales network, helping to accentuate our unique proposition," Eric Van Tichelen, managing director of ECC.
The acquisition is expected to close in the coming months. The parties have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the transaction.