Cargill’s European cocoa business is planning to acquire Belgium-based chocolate and sweets decorations supplier Smet.

Smet supplies its products to the food service and confectionary markets.

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

Cargill Europe chocolate activities managing director Inge Demeyere said: “The proposed acquisition emphasises Cargill’s commitment to its customers in the gourmet segment, building on the strengths of both organisations and enhancing complementary capabilities.

“We will broaden our product portfolio and services to artisans and chocolatiers, bakery, hospitality businesses and food service industries.”

“We will broaden our product portfolio and services to artisans and chocolatiers, bakery, hospitality businesses and food service industries.”

“Smet enjoys great market recognition. As their brand joins Cargill’s existing brand portfolio, their unique entrepreneurial capabilities will be leveraged to allow for a dedicated focus on gourmet customers.”

Through the proposed acquisition, Cargill and Smet intend to bring together their global gourmet chocolate activities.

With a global distribution network for gourmet products, Smet has two fully owned manufacturing sites in Belgium and Poland with nearly 90 employees.

Smet CEO Johan Smet said: “Cargill provides us with a unique opportunity to serve our customers with a globally integrated cocoa and chocolate supply chain, a renowned sustainability approach and deep chocolate expertise.”

Cargill stated that the acquisition agreement is subject to information and/or consultation procedures with the appropriate employee representative bodies. The transaction is anticipated to close in the first half of this year.

Last month, Cargill introduced a palm shortening line called PalmAgility for producers of cookies, pies and doughnuts.

PalmAgility is said to have been tested for performance in pies, doughnuts, cookies and crème fillings at the company’s food innovation centre.