A Japanese food company paid $750 million to acquire Blommer Chocolate, a 79-year-old Chicago mainstay whose West Loop factory is know for wafting the scent of chocolate across Downtown when the wind is just right.
Osaka-based Fuji Oil Holdings will take complete ownership of Blommer and its five manufacturing sites, according to the Chicago Tribune. The deal is expected to close in the next two months.
CEO Peter Blommer, the company’s third-generation owner, has been soliciting a buyer since at least August. Blommer and his team will continue to manage the company after it’s sold.
Blommer, whose corporate headquarters are in Pennsylvania, employs about 900 people worldwide, including 260 in Chicago. It’s the largest chocolate supplier in North America and the third-largest producer of chocolate ingredients in the world. It was founded in Chicago in 1939.
Blommer recorded $907 million in sales revenue during the year that ended in May. That’s down from $982 million during the previous year, and $998 a year before that.
Fuji Oil Holdings bought Malaysia-based GCB Specialty Chocolates in 2016, and it bought the Australian Industrial Food Services last year. The Blommer acquisition would broaden its holdings to 16 factories across 10 countries. [Chicago Tribune] — Alex Nitkin