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Extension of Gourmet & Specialties Products business

·                    Mona Lisa Food Products, Inc. to strengthen and accelerate the growth of Barry Callebaut's Gourmet business 

·                    Complementing and extending the company's specialties products portfolio 

Zurich/Switzerland, February 10, 2012 - Barry Callebaut, the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of Mona Lisa Food Products, Inc., a leader in chocolate decorations products in the U.S.
The currently privately owned company will be integrated into Barry Callebaut's North American Gourmet & Specialties Products business. The acquisition of Mona Lisa confirms Barry Callebaut's intention to further accelerate the growth of its Gourmet & Specialties Products business and to add more adjacent products to the company's offerings for professional users of chocolate such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs, bakers and the HORECA business (hotels, restaurants, catering).

With the acquisition of Mona Lisa Food Products, Barry Callebaut will also strengthen its global footprint and establish a dedicated foothold for decorations products in the U.S. The newly acquired company complements the business activities of Barry Callebaut's center of competence for chocolate decorations located in Zundert (The Netherlands).

Mona Lisa Food Products, Inc. generated sales revenue approaching CHF 9 million (EUR 8 million / USD 10 million) in 2011 with around 40 employees. The owner and President of Mona Lisa Food Products, Inc., Peter Thom, founded the company in 1987 in Salinas, California. Since the start, the company's business has been steadily expanding and relocated in 1993 from California to Hendersonville, North Carolina, where it has a single manufacturing facility today. Mona Lisa Food Products manufactures a variety of chocolate and pastry decoration products such as cups, curls, spoons, shavings, blossoms, which are distributed all over the U.S. for the most part, but also shipped worldwide. The company is serving a wide range of segments in the food industry, including, but not limited to, in-store bakeries, the HORECA business (hotels, restaurants, catering) and industrial bakeries.

Peter Thom, President and Owner of Mona Lisa Food Products, Inc., says: "Since its inception, we have run Mona Lisa as a family business. The growth and success of our brand has brought us to the time where it is best to hand the company over to a partner that can continue this success. We believe we have found that partner in Barry Callebaut and see a continued future of growth and success."    

Juergen B. Steinemann, CEO of Barry Callebaut, says: "The acquisition of Mona Lisa Food Products, Inc. is another step to broaden our knowledge and to accelerate the growth of our Gourmet & Specialties Products business. As a part of Barry Callebaut, the company will strengthen our global market position for chocolate decorations and serve as our dedicated center of competence in the U.S."

The transaction is expected to close in March 2012.  The two parties have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the transaction.



Barry Callebaut (
With annual sales of about CHF 4.6 billion (EUR 3.6 billion/USD 5.0 billion) for fiscal year 2010/11, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate - from the cocoa bean to the finished chocolate product. Barry Callebaut is present in 27 countries, operates around 40 production facilities and employs a diverse and dedicated workforce of about 6,000 people. Barry Callebaut serves the entire food industry focusing on industrial food manufacturers, artisans and professional users of chocolate (such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs or bakers), the latter with its two global brands Callebaut® and Cacao Barry®. Barry Callebaut is the global leader in cocoa and chocolate innovations and provides a comprehensive range of services in the fields of product development, processing, training and marketing. Cost leadership is another important reason why global as well as local food manufacturers work together with Barry Callebaut. Through its broad range of sustainability initiatives and research activities, the company works with farmers, farmer organizations and other partners to help ensure future supplies of cocoa and improve farmer livelihoods.

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