• Cargill acquires chocolate business
Cargill has purchased Archer Daniels Midland Company's global chocolate business for $440 million. The deal is said to be a good fit with Cargill's existing chocolate business.
"This acquisition is a major milestone in Cargill's chocolate growth strategy and will help us better serve our customers in North America and Europe," said Bryan Wurscher, president Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate North America. "It will bring together great people with a deep passion and commitment to producing excellent chocolate. Our customers will benefit from a broader product portfolio, greater access to innovation and product development support."
The transaction includes ADM's three North American chocolate plants, located in Milwaukee (Wis.), Hazleton (Penn.), and Georgetown (Ontario), and three in Europe: Liverpool (U.K.), Manage (Belgium) and Mannheim (Germany). The new facilities will extend Cargill's existing chocolate footprint across North America, Europe, Asia and Brazil, and increase production capacity, particularly in North America.
Cargill's product portfolio will also add ADM's Ambrosia, Merckens and Schokinag brands. Upon completion Cargill will gain approximately 700 new employees.
The combined business will be able to offer enhanced capabilities and broader product ranges to support the long-term needs of the chocolate market.
"Cocoa and chocolate products have been key contributors to Cargill's business since 1979," said Jos de Loor, president Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate EMEA and Asia. "We continue to invest strongly in the development of our own facilities and people, and we welcome the opportunity to embrace these new operations and further build on our success together."
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval in the United States and the European Union. It is expected to close in the first half of 2015.
• Amazon’s Szkutak to retire
Amazon’s chief financial officer Thomas Szkutak will retire in June 2015, according to corporate announcement on Wednesday (Sept. 3).
He will be succeeded by Brian Olsavsky, vice president of finance for the e-commerce giant's global consumer business. Olsavsky, who joined the company in 2002, will report directly to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Szkutak has been Amazon's CFO since joining the company in October 2002. The two will work closely together over the next 10 months to ensure a smooth transition.
• CVS announces new corporate name
Pharmacy giant CVS Caremark has changed its name to CVS Health on the heels of its tobacco free sales policy completed one full month ahead of schedule.
The company said the new name better reflects its focus on its pharmacies and in store health clinics. The retailer has claimed that its mission statement is to change the future health of Americans by offering affordable and convenient health oriented services and products.
CVS Health operates 7,700 retail pharmacies and 900 in store clinics. Although its decision to remove tobacco products cost the retailer roughly $2 billion in annual sales, it has gained about $5.4 billion in new business for 2015.
The first of three CVS stores are slated to open in Northwest Arkansas in the coming months — Bella Vista, Fayetteville and Springdale.