The Barry Callebaut Group, a manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa products, has signed an agreement to acquire GKC Foods (Australia), a producer of chocolate, coatings, and fillings, serving many consumer chocolate brands in Australia and New Zealand.
This strategic acquisition establishes Barry Callebaut’s direct presence and manufacturing capacity in the growing Australian market. The acquisition of GKC Foods empowers the company to expand its position in the industrial chocolate market and to leverage its value-adding gourmet and specialties business in Australia and New Zealand. Barry Callebaut will continue to work with local distributors across Australia and New Zealand that have been importing and distributing its industrial and gourmet chocolate and cocoa products to the country since the 1970s.
GKC Foods has been manufacturing “made in Australia” chocolate and confectionery products since the 1980s. Today, the company 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 the deployment of an integrated management system to enhance automated production. In addition, 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,” said Ben De Schryver, president of Barry Callebaut in Asia Pacific, in a press release. “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.”
The transaction, which is expected to be completed before the end of 2020, is subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions. Financial details of the deal will not be disclosed.