Cargill contemplates cocoa purchase for a huge hill of beans

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In an exclusive report, Reuters spills the beans that Cargill Inc. is exploring the purchase of a rival cocoa business now owned by the Archer Daniels Midland Co.. The ADM business is estimated to be worth $2 billion.

Reuters quotes a source who said that the privately held, Minnetonka-based agribusiness giant has performed due diligence on the ADM business. It's unclear whether Cargill has placed a bid for ADM's unit.

ADM declined to comment beyond a short statement in June that it was in discussions about a potential sale. A Cargill spokesman would not comment on the possible ADM bid, but said in an email the company is assessing initiatives.

If the transaction goes through, it would make Cargill a major global player in the cocoa sector.Cargill has been investing in cocoa, currently running cocoa plants in West Africa, Brazil, Indonesia and major European consuming countries. Cargill acquired German cocoa grinder Kakao Verarbeitung Berlin in 2011.

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