Barry Callebaut to Acquire GKC Foods Australia
Chocolate and cocoa products manufacturer The Barry Callebaut Group has signed an agreement to acquire GKC Foods (Australia) Pty Ltd., a producer of chocolate, coatings and fillings.
The deal is expected to close by the end of this year. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
Barry Callebaut intends to use the acquisition to establish a direct presence and manufacturing capacity in the growing Australian market, as well as leverage its gourmet and specialties business in Australia and New Zealand. It will continue to work with local distributors in the region.
GKC Foods, which has been manufacturing “Made in Australia” chocolate and confectionery products since the 1980s, produces a wide range of products, including organic and vegan chocolate for dedicated chocolate shops, gourmet delis, specialty food outlets, and key national retailers. The company operates a chocolate factory and a warehouse in Melbourne.
Barry Callebaut’s investment involves upgrading and expanding the factory’s existing infrastructure, installing a new chocolate production line, and deploying an integrated management system to enhance automated production.
The company will employ around 50 people at the site, including GKC Foods' existing employees, who will transfer to Barry Callebaut upon completion of the transaction.
“We strongly believe in the growth opportunities of the Australian and New Zealand chocolate confectionery markets,” Ben De Schryver, president of Barry Callebaut in Asia Pacific, in a statement. “We already have the highest quality products today and we will further grow our competitive advantage through the acquisition of, and investment in, the best-in-class GKC Foods manufacturing facility in Australia.”
Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, Barry Callebaut operates 10 chocolate and cocoa factories in Asia and employs more than 1,800 associates in the region. In the last 12 months, the company has also expanded its sales operations in Indonesia and the Philippines, in addition to its existing sales offices in India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
It also recently announced the groundbreaking of a new chocolate factory in India which is expected to be ready in late 2020.