Divine merger announced
Fairtrade brand Divine Chocolate has merged its UK and US operations.
The farmer-owned chocolate company has combined the two businesses and with it, Kuapa Kokoo, the farmers’ co-operative in Ghana that voted to set up a chocolate company back in 1997, will own 44 per cent of the merged company.
Divine Chocolate Ltd (UK) has acquired the 69 per cent of Divine Chocolate Inc (USA), which was in other ownership, through a mutually agreed share swap, resulting in Divine Chocolate Ltd owning 100 per cent of Divine Chocolate Inc., whilst bringing in some minority shareholdings to Divine UK.
The company’s Managing Director, Sophi Tranchell MBE (pictured), takes on the role of CEO.
“Having launched Divine in the USA nine years after the founding company launched in the UK, it has been very exciting to see it successfully navigate all the challenges in the USA market and mirror the success of Divine in the UK. We have seen a growing appetite around the world for business being done differently,” explained Tranchell.
“The new structure strengthens the group, making us more resilient and giving us a wider consumer reach, and in doing so gives Divine more power to deliver our mission to fairly and sustainably remunerate smallholder cocoa farmers in West Africa, as well as empowering them to take their future into their own hands.”
Divine’s Finance Director, David Upton, added: “Merging the businesses brings many benefits at this point in the company’s growth. We will be sharing best practice and be in a position to hedge our foreign exchange risk in both the US and the UK. The potential in the US is really exciting, and we will be focussing on continuing to deliver strong profitable growth.”