Olam Acquires Indonesia’s Cocoa Processor, BT Cocoa, To Become The Largest Global Consumer Of Cocoa Powder

Monday, March 4th, 2019 | 2416 Views

Global food and agri-business Olam International Limited announced that it has acquired an 85 percent share of YTS Holdings Pte Limited for a consideration of US$90 million, which owns 100 percent of PT. Bumitangerang Mesindotama (“BT Cocoa”). The acquisition brings together Olam Cocoa, a leader in traceable cocoa sourcing and processing, with BT Cocoa, one of Asia’s leading cocoa processors. The remaining 15 percent of shares are to be held by the founding members of BT Cocoa, Piter Jasman and family.

The acquisition strengthens Olam Cocoa’s brand portfolio offering by adding strong Indonesian national brand BT Cocoa and enables the further development and growth of Olam Cocoa’s Huysman brand. This also adds 120,000 metric tonnes of cocoa bean processing capacity and 30,000 metric tonnes of cocoa mass pressing capacity to serve increasing demand for cocoa products in Asia, especially cocoa powder. The significant synergies derived and a competitive cost advantage will add further value to the brands.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to rapidly expand our footprint in Asia and to develop this business with the founder and family of BT Cocoa. Our longstanding relationship will enable us to deliver world class cocoa ingredients and services to our expanded customer base and look to strengthen these relationships in the future in one of the fastest growing regions in the world,” said CEO of Olam Cocoa, Gerard A. Manley.


A Strong Strategic Fit

The acquisition satisfies increasing customer demand for full integration within the cocoa supply chain. Olam Cocoa offers breadth, depth and scalability from origin sourcing, trading, risk management, value chain processing and supply chain solutions, to sustainability, research and development, and cocoa ingredient innovation. While BT Cocoa supplies size and scale in Indonesian cocoa processing with a total installed cocoa bean grind and cocoa mass capacity of 150,000 metric tonnes and a facility equipped with the latest processing technology.

Olam Cocoa has been working closely with BT Cocoa for nearly three years through a Business Collaborative Agreement and has already made considerable financial and operational improvements, including helping BT Cocoa achieve a 30 percent reduction in energy consumption.

This acquisition supports the worldwide positive growth trend of chocolate and cocoa ingredient consumption and the expectation that the need for cocoa processing will continue to grow, supported by additional investment in cocoa producing and consuming countries.


Addressing Future Trends In Cocoa Ingredients

In 2018, global chocolate consumption was above six million metric tonnes and is expected to increase in the next five years. Indonesia is currently the world’s sixth largest cocoa producing country and Asia is set to become the second largest consumer of cocoa ingredients in the world led by China, India, Japan and the Philippines. Asian demand for cocoa powder in particular is increasing with a five year CAGR projection of eight percent. Growth in snack food categories like sweet biscuits and cookies, which accounted for 40 percent of new product development in Asia in 2018, is driving this trend.

BT Cocoa’s prominence as an existing supplier to leading chocolate and confectionery manufacturers in the region presents new market opportunities for Olam Cocoa’s ingredients portfolio, such as value cocoa powders brand Huysman, which was launched in Asia in 2018, and to complement premium cocoa brand deZaan. With its world-leading team of R&D and Product Development and Innovation experts, Olam Cocoa is well positioned to capitalise on these emerging trends to support the needs of regional consumers.


Ensuring A Strong And Sustainable Cocoa Supply Chain

Olam Cocoa has been operating in Indonesia since 1996 and is the country’s largest exporter of cocoa beans, establishing the company’s first cocoa sustainability initiative there in 2004. Since that time, US$20 million in premiums have been paid to cocoa farmers and five million cocoa tree seedlings distributed. Today, Olam Cocoa includes 65,500 Indonesian cocoa farmers across six provinces in sustainability programmes. Supplying resources for the best cocoa growing techniques based on leading plant science R&D, programmes aim to support livelihoods comparable to the farming of competing crops. Olam Cocoa also owns one of the largest cocoa plantations in Indonesia, located on Seram Island.

“The relationship with Olam Cocoa represents a powerful opportunity for BT Cocoa to significantly expand our market with enhancements to quality, safety and ethically responsible cocoa products. The past three years of collaboration has clearly demonstrated the potential for delivering better value. The combination of Olam Cocoa’s expertise as the leading global supplier and processor of sustainable cocoa, with BT Cocoa’s strong local network, will provide our customers with increasing benefits,” said Piter Jasman of BT Cocoa. “With the acquisition of BT Cocoa we will be able to meet Asia’s increasing demand for cocoa ingredients with additional offerings that support the strong positioning of deZaan ingredients supplied from Singapore. We welcome the potential to further expand the BT Cocoa and Huysman brands in the Asian markets, allowing us to extend our breadth and competitiveness,” Yeong Chye of Olam Cocoa added.