September 7, 2017 / 5:26 AM / 10 months ago

Barry Callebaut strengthens U.S. specialities business with acquisition

ZURICH, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Barry Callebaut AG said on Thursday it has acquired the ingredients division of family-owned U.S. company Gertrude Hawk Chocolates for an undisclosed sum, a move to strengthen the Swiss company's high-margin gourmet and specialties business.

Chocolate makers have been grappling with weak global chocolate demand as health-conscious consumers leave the sweet treat on the shelves, but Barry Callebaut benefits from big food groups outsourcing production and also supplies chefs with premium products via its gourmet and specialities business.

The world's biggest chocolate and cocoa product maker said the Gertrude Hawk ingredients business generated sales revenue of around 70 million euros ($83.48 million)in 2016/17 and employed around 370 people.

$1 = 0.8385 euros Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz

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