July 17, 2015 / 12:56 PM / 4 years ago

EU conditionally clears Cargill purchase of ADM chocolate business

A logo is pictured on the building of Cargill International SA in Geneva August 4, 2009. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Friday that it had approved Cargill’s [CARG.UL] $440 million acquisition of rival Archer Daniels Midland Co’s (ADM.N) global chocolate business, subject to conditions.

The Commission said its investigation had shown the deal would reduce competition in an already concentrated market for industrial chocolate and risked increasing prices for customers located near the parties’ German plants, especially small and medium-sized customers.

The Commission said its approval was therefore conditional upon Cargill divesting ADM’s industrial chocolate plant in Mannheim, Germany, to a suitable purchaser so as to address the Commission’s concerns.

The Commission said it had found that Swiss rival Barry Callebaut (BARN.S) was a more significant competitor in Belgium, Britain and France, so there were no competition concerns there.

Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek

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