The world's largest chocolate manufacturer, Barry Callebaut, is strengthening its position in the gourmet market.This content was published on February 17, 2003 - 12:24
The Zurich-based company announced on Monday it had acquired the Dutch-Belgian Luijckx group for an undisclosed price.
In a statement, Barry Callebaut said Luijckx had sales last year of more than €33 million (SFr48.6 million) and was the world leader in sophisticated chocolate decorations for professional users. Luijckx has a staff of 240.
Luijckx will be fully integrated into Barry Callebaut's Gourmet and Specialties business unit.
The current team of owners will continue to manage the Luijckx group ensuring continuity, the statement added.
Chocolate and cocoa
Barry Callebaut is the worldwide leader in supplying bakeries, pastry chefs, hotels, restaurants, caterers and other professional users with chocolate and cocoa-based product.
"Our range mainly focuses on ingredients to be transformed by craftsmen," said Benoît Villers, president of Barry Callebaut's business unit Gourmet and Specialties.
"The complementary range of products will allow us to increase our offer to craftsmen and to strengthen our leadership position in a fast moving environment," he added.
The chief executive officer of Luijckx, Theo Graban, said that the move would benefit existing customers.
"It will also offer new opportunities to our employees and allow Luijckx to grow on an international scale," he said.
swissinfo with agencies
Barry Callebaut is a giant in the world of chocolate, with sales in its last fiscal year (2001/2002) of SFr2.6 billion.
It operates 30 facilities in 16 countries and employs a staff of 7,500.
The company processes 15 per cent of the world's cocoa harvest.
Barry Callebaut has more than 1,500 recipes to cater for the many different customer needs and customer habits worldwide.
The company's Gourmet and Specialties business unit had sales of €286.2 million (SFr421.5 million) in the fiscal year 2001/2002.
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