American agribusiness Cargill has struck a deal to purchase Singapore-based chocolate products manufacturer Aalst Chocolate Pte. Ltd. that will enable the firm to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific market, a company release reveled Tuesday.
“The rapidly growing Asian marketplace is increasingly wielding its influence around the globe, sparking inspiration and driving international trends,” Francesca Kleemans, managing director, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate Asia-Pacific, said in a statement. “Joining with Aalst strengthens our position in this critical region, enabling us to become the supplier-of-choice for industrial and foodservice customers. With an expanded selection of value-added and specialty chocolate products and deep technical expertise, together we can accelerate innovation, better helping customers create products that continue to surprise and delight.”
Aalst supplies products to industrial, foodservice and retail customers across over 50 countries. Its portfolio includes chocolates and compounds, premium retail chocolate products and luxury pralines that are sold under eight brands.
“Singapore and made-in-Singapore products are both highly regarded and reputed for meeting stringent world-class standards. We are proud of Aalst Chocolate’s heritage as a Singapore company with a renowned presence of over 18 years in Asia’s chocolate industry. Together with Cargill’s global expertise and experience, we believe that this new venture will be well-positioned to harness the full potential of exciting synergetic growth possibilities and become an ideal integrated chocolate solution provider for our customers,” Richard Lee, founder and CEO of Aalst, said in the release.
Cargill will take on a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Singapore and its research and development assets in Singapore and Shanghai, China when the deal closes. About 200 Aalst employees are expected to join Cargill.
No financial details were provided. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions.
The company also said plans to open its first chocolate manufacturing plant in India this September.