(Adds detail from paragraph three)
HAMBURG May 2 Swiss commodities trading group
ECOM has received approval from German cartel authorities to
purchase German cocoa grinder Euromar Commodities GmbH which
declared insolvency in December, Euromar's insolvency
administrator said on Tuesday.
Production at Euromar's plant at Fehrbellin near Berlin
could resume in coming days, the administrator, Rolf Rattunde,
said in a statement.
A sale contract for Euromar's factory, equipment and site
had been signed and approved by Euromar's creditors in March but
German cartel authorities had to approve the purchase.
"This contract has now been approved by the federal cartel
office and so the final hurdle for the takeover has been
removed," Rattunde said.
ECOM is a supplier of commodities to chocolate
manufacturers, coffee roasters and cotton mills, the company's
website says, with cocoa trading operations and processing
plants in the Netherlands, Malaysia and Mexico.
Euromar had suffered liquidity problems caused by exchange
rate fluctuations in the British pound, in which cocoa is traded
in, and swings in cocoa prices.
U.S. parent company Transmar Commodity Group Ltd also filed
for bankruptcy protection in December.
German traders estimate Euromar's Fehrbellin cocoa grinding
plant can crush 150 tonnes of beans a day, which with full 365-
day production means around 54,700 tonnes a year. Germany grinds
about 400,000 tonnes of cocoa annually.
Euromar's problems were a factor causing a sudden fall in
European cocoa grindings in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Euromar has never given official production figures.
Euromar had turnover of 980 million euros ($1.07 billion) in
2015, Rattunde said.
($1 = 0.9163 euros)
(Reporting by Michael Hogan; editing by Jason Neely and Louise