MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — Cargill said on Aug. 3 that it has completed the $440 million acquisition of Archer Daniels Midland Co.’s (ADM) global chocolate business. Cargill said the acquisition constitutes a “milestone” for its chocolate growth strategy, strengthening its position as a leading player in the cocoa and chocolate industry.

Following the transaction, Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business now operates globally with 27 sites in 11 countries with more than 3,000 employees.

Under terms of the transaction and as part of the companies’ agreement with the European Commission, Cargill has agreed to divest ADM’s industrial chocolate production facility in Mannheim, Germany. The facility is kept as a separate entity with its own interim management until transferred to a prospective buyer. Chocolate production onsite and service to customers continues normally, Cargill said.

“Along with our access to the global cocoa supply chain and an enhanced technology base, we will be able to improve the delivery of new applications to our customers,” said Jos de Loor, president of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business EMEA and Asia. “We are seriously committed to help our customers grow and are excited to begin our new journey.”

Minneapolis-based Cargill on Sept. 2, 2014, originally announced its plans to purchase the global chocolate business of Chicago, Illinois, U.S.-based ADM for $440 million. The European Commission on Feb. 23 of this year announced it was undertaking an in-depth investigation of the transaction. Since Cargill and ADM were important suppliers of industrial chocolate to Germany, the proposed transaction would eliminate an important competitor, according to the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union. On July 17, the European Commission gave its approval under the condition Cargill sell the Mannheim facility.