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Milwaukee chocolate factory gets new owner

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Archer Daniels Midland said today it will sell its global chocolate business -- including a plant in Milwaukee -- to Cargill for $440-million. The Milwaukee plant will stay open.

The A-D-M agri-business giant said the sale would let the firm re-deploy capital to other parts of its conglomerate and improve its returns. Cargill says the A-D-M chocolate plants are an excellent fit with its existing chocolate business -- and its customers will be better served. All told, about 700 A-D-M employees will be transferred to the privately-held Cargill, a Minnesota-based agricultural giant that provides food, financial, and industrial products. The sale involves chocolate manufacturing and cocoa processing plants in Milwaukee, Hazelton Pennsylvania, Canada, England, Belgium, and Germany. Of those, only Hazelton will close once the deal is finalized. That's expected to be in the first half of next year.

The Milwaukee plant is among those that produce chocolates, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and cocoa liquor for numerous companies in the confectionery, dairy, bakery, and beverage industries.