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Blommer Chocolate Sold
Written by Jennifer Frieze, Correspondent

            In November, Blommer announced that the third-generation chocolate company was in the process of being sold to Fuji Oil Holdings Inc., a global supplier of oil, fats and chocolate. Japan based Fuji Oil supplies vegetable oil to Blommer for its confectionary products.

            Blommer, founded in Chicago in 1939, announced that all of its business entities, including its five manufacturing operations, one of which is located in Jinshan China, will be purchased by Fuji Oil.

            Blommer employs approximately 900 people in its five manufacturing sites. The company is the largest cocoa producer and ingredient supplier in North America and the third-largest industry producer in the world.

            In a press release provided by the chocolate company, Blommer said, "With our combined expertise in chocolate and fats and oils, both rooted in product and process and innovation, we have the opportunity to create a broad global footprint from which to serve our customers and drive growth."

            Peter Blommer, CEO and third-generation Blommer family member, will continue to direct the company, along with existing senior management, after transaction finalization.

            The Fuji Oil intends on applying Blommer's approach to cocoa bean procurement to its own efforts. In early 2018, Blommer introduced a new sustainability initiative supporting African farmers that grow cocoa in the Ivory Coast. The initiative builds water wells to supply clean drinking water to farming communities.

            In a public statement provided by Fuji Oil, the company said, "As part of its ESG initiatives, Blommer is focused on raw material traceability and has its own program for sustainable procurement of cocoa beans. Fuji Oil plans to apply Blommer's achievements and knowledge of cocoa raw materials to further advance Fuji Oil's sustainable approach to procurement."

            During the business year that ended in May, Blommer made $3 million in profit from sales totaling $907 million, according to Fuji Oil filings. Sales from Blommer decreased from $982 million the year before and $998 million the year before that. These financial fluctuations may have contributed to the sale of the company.

            Fuji Oil said in public documents that the acquisition will assist in Fuji Oil's business expansion in North America, which is the largest industrial chocolate market in the world. The transaction will allow Fuji oil to cross-sell its other confectionary products to Blommer's customer base.

            Fuji Oil has been on an acquisition roundup: Last year, the company purchased Industrial Food Services in Australia, in 2016 purchased GCB Specialty Chocolates in Malaysia, and in 2015 acquired Harald in Brazil.

            Fuji Oil released a public statement regarding the business proceedings. Hiroshi Shimizu, President and CEO of the company, said "Fuji Oil is a global supplier of food ingredients, with oil and fat, chocolate, emulsified and fermented foods and soy protein as business pillars. In our industrial chocolate business we are a leader in Asia and have expanded our presence in Europe and South America. By partnering with Blommer we are convinced that the combination of our know-how and operations in our respective regions will provide significant opportunities and choices for our customers."

            The deal is valued at $750 million according to public filings from Fuji Oil.

            In a statement provided to the Town and Country by Fuji Oil, the company said that details of the transaction will be provided after a final agreement is concluded in January. The materials used for the presentation as well as other related documents, will be available on the Fuji Oil company website following the agreement presentation.





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