Swiss chocolate production equipment manufacturer Buhler Group has agreed to acquire The Haas Group, an Austrian confectionery equipment manufacturer, to enhance its consumer foods product portfolio.

The deal will enable Haas to access the resources of the Bühler organisation, which is spread worldwide.

Established in Vienna for more than 100 years, Haas manufactures production equipment for manufacturing wafers, hard and soft biscuits, ice cream cones, cakes and baked goods.

Haas operates its own manufacturing sites located across six countries and has a workforce of nearly 1,750 staff members.

Bühler CEO Stefan Scheiber said: “We have entertained friendly relationships with Haas for years. Together, we can generate significant added value for our customers while at the same time opening up new prospects for the employees of Haas.”

Haas Supervisory Board member Johann Haas said: “Today’s market and technology trends, whose impact and speed will continue to increase, have prompted us to take this step.

"Today’s market and technology trends, whose impact and speed will continue to increase, have prompted us to take this step."

“Bühler offers precisely this environment. It is for this reason that we sought exclusive talks with them on the change in ownership, and we are glad to have found a sound and future-oriented solution for all the parties involved.”

Buhler anticipates that this acquisition will offer its food customers new opportunities for diversifying.

The company also intends to make its global network of about 100 service stations accessible to Haas customers, as well as develop comprehensive solutions for the production of wafers, biscuits, and confectionery with chocolate.

Buhler also plans to integrate Haas in the innovation management network.

Scheiber further added: “We warmly welcome every single employee of Haas to the Bühler family and will join forces with them to continue the success of these business fields.”

Financial details of the deal have not been divulged by both companies.

The completion of the acquisition is subject to the approval of antitrust authorities, and the transaction is scheduled to close by the end of 2017.