BUSINESS NEWS

ADM to Acquire Specialty Commodities Inc.

Adds additional healthy ingredients to product portfolio

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) today (Oct. 13) announced an agreement to purchase Specialty Commodities Inc. (SCI), a leading originator, processor and distributor of healthy ingredients, including nuts, fruits, seeds, legumes and ancient grains, for US$170 million, subject to post-closing adjustments.

“One of the ways we are improving returns and reducing the volatility of our earnings is through the expansion of our specialty ingredients portfolio,” said ADM Chairman and CEO Patricia A. Woertz. “One milestone in the ongoing process was the addition of WILD Flavors; the addition of Specialty Commodities Inc. is another step. Consumers around the world are demanding higher-quality, better-tasting, healthier foods with clean labels. We are continuing to add new product streams to our portfolio to enhance our capabilities to serve our customers as they respond to this demand.”

SCI, which was founded almost three decades ago, works with a global network of suppliers to source natural and organic ingredients and distribute them to customers in the snack, ice cream, cereal, nutrition bar, health food, bakery, pet food and bird food markets.

“We are pleased that SCI will become part of ADM,” said Larry Leitner, SCI founding partner and CEO. “SCI’s suppliers, colleagues and customers will benefit from ADM’s world-class innovation, supply-chain and manufacturing capabilities. And with our complementary geographies, similar business models, and shared focus on quality and customers, we see a bright future for the business.”

SCI is majority owned by Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison. When the transaction closes, SCI will become part of ADM’s new WILD Flavors and Specialty Ingredients business unit.

“This is another step as we continue to broaden the portfolio of ingredients we offer, enhance our knowledge and expertise, and focus on the quality of our products and the markets that matter most to our customers,” said Greg Morris, president, WILD Flavors and Specialty Ingredients.

ADM anticipates closing the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, in the coming weeks.

For almost 30 years, SCI has offered a full line of natural and organic products such as nuts, seeds, ancient grains, spices, dehydrated fruits and other ingredients. Its corporate headquarters is in Fargo, North Dakota; it has two processing facilities in California, locations in New Jersey, Illinois, and Minnesota, and does business in countries including China, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, India, South Africa, and Australia. Information at www.specialtycommodities.com.


Parke Warehouses Announces Major
Expansion Project in Decatur

Decatur, IL – Parke & Son, Inc. announced Oct. 8th a 140,000 square foot expansion of its existing warehouse and distribution facility on East Mound Road to meet current and anticipated growth in business associated with the Midwest Inland Port.  The total investment for the facility and related equipment will total more than $6 million with construction set to begin immediately to support a mid-year 2015 completion date.
“Parke has been an important part of Decatur’s industrial community for more than 160 years,” said Richard Stoddard, Parke & Son, Inc. Chairman and CEO.  “We are happy to have the opportunity to be among the first in making an investment that is directly related to business activity at the Midwest Inland Port, and we hope to be positioned to support additional growth in future years.  Being in the Decatur – Macon County Enterprise Zone was a key factor in our making the decision to move forward with this project at this time.”
“This is another major positive development for the Decatur economy,” said Decatur Mayor Michael McElroy.  “Parke is a long-term, valuable business leader in Decatur, and I am thrilled to see them make this investment in our community.  This is yet another endorsement of Decatur and Central Illinois as a developing location for logistics projects.”
Bruce Stoddard, Parke & Son, Inc. President noted: “This development will provide construction jobs for approximately 48 people over the life of the project.  We are pleased to have selected The Romano Company, a local company, as our general contractor and are happy that these construction jobs will provide opportunities for local skilled labor.  Moreover, additional full-time jobs will become available upon the completion of the project with additional employment opportunities developing as we realize the full utilization of the additional space.”
Larry Altenbaumer, interim President of the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County (“EDC”) noted, “This is another great success story.  For more than 160 years, Parke has been a fixture in our community, evolving to meet changing business opportunities.  It is outstanding that they are able to be one of the early successes associated with the strategic development of the Midwest Inland Port.”
Founded in Decatur in 1854, Parke & Son, Inc. has served the needs of America’s industrial community.  Today, the operations that now combine to create Parke & Son, Inc. operate in more than 800,000 square feet and employ more than 80 men and women.  Parke & Son, Inc. is a leading provider of commercial public warehousing, contract warehousing and toll processing and blending services.  

Local Leaders Excited about Akorn Expansion

DECATUR – Today (Sept. 25) Akorn Inc. kicked off the third phase of an $18 million remodeling and expansion project, a multi-year capital improvements plan that will add local jobs and serves as the latest example of the company’s commitment to the Decatur Community.

The City of Decatur, Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce, state and local officials and representatives from Akorn held a groundbreaking today to announce the company’s future plans and to give the public an update on work that has been ongoing at the company’s facility at 1222 W. Grand Ave. in Decatur. The company recently closed on the sale of neighboring property and plans to further expand its current facility, adding 40,000 square feet of space to accommodate its growing pharmaceutical development, analytical and microbiology testing laboratories and manufacturing facility.
The expansion is in addition to ongoing work at the West Grand facility that includes remodeling work and equipment modernization along with a realignment of the company’s product line. This work will retain 435 jobs and create new employment opportunities as the plant receives new product approvals.
Akorn is a niche generic pharmaceutical company engaged in the development, manufacture and marketing of multi-source and branded niche pharmaceutical products in the United States and across the globe. The products manufactured at the Decatur sites are used in the local hospitals and doctor’s offices and ophthalmic products are sold over the counter at all major pharmacies.
Akorn established its Decatur location in 1992 after purchasing Taylor Pharmacal, which was founded in Decatur in 1948. Akorn currently has 2 locations in Decatur and employs 435 workers.
“Today's announcement represents the latest in a long list of ongoing projects for Decatur and its part of a resurgence for the city's near northwest side the likes of which we haven't seen in years” said Mayor Mike McElroy. “Right across the street you've got a new million-dollar County Market now under construction while Decatur students will soon be able to move into a completely renovated MacArthur High school just blocks to the west of us.
“And these projects are just a portion of the work going on here now that are bringing new jobs and investment to our community and an improved quality of life for all of the great people of our city.”
Akorn is committed to continued company growth and its Decatur facility is a major supplier of its sterile injectable and ophthalmic drug products.  The company takes great pride in the Decatur operation and the personnel’s commitment to quality and excellence. Akorn’s Decatur employment has increased from 200 employees in 2010 to 435 employees in 2014 to support a product increase from 10 million to 33 million units manufactured annually.   
"We are fortunate to have Akorn choose to invest in their facilities here in Decatur and expand their leadership in niche pharmaceutical markets,” said Mirinda Rothrock, President of the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce. “Decatur and Macon County work hard to be business friendly and the Chamber is committed to create a growing businesses climate.
“We look forward to continue working with Akorn and helping them expand their business.”
Akorn’s announcement follows several weeks of news related to economic growth in Decatur and in projects that will improve the local quality of life. Additionally, recent months have seen the local unemployment rate fall to 9.1 percent, which is the lowest level in six years according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. This recent growth represents only a part of what is more than $200 million in community investment that has gotten underway in the last several years.
“Akorn’s announcement today is another piece of very good news for Decatur and for our economy” said Larry Altenbaumer, President of the Economic Development Corporation for Decatur and Macon County.  “While the EDC continues to support broad-based economic development in our region from all sources, there is something particularly satisfying when a company like Akorn that is doing business today both in our community and in other locations chooses to develop and expand here instead of some alternative option.  That is the foundation of solid economic development. 
“Akorn’s announcement today, Union Iron’s announcement last month and Fuyao Glass Group’s announced acquisition of the PPG facility in July all build on local facilities and capabilities for these businesses that exist today as they make significant new local investments to position themselves for ongoing success.  I am thrilled with Akorn’s decision and its commitment to our community.”
Tim Dudley, Region Manager for Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said that Decatur stands primed to facilitate and attract projects like the Akorn development and that he expects to see more like it in the future.
 “The Enterprise Zone is one of many incentives used to spur economic development in our community,” he said. “With our superior interstates, infrastructure, low cost energy, and now the creation of the Midwest Inland Port, Decatur is now more equipped to provide what businesses in our community need to expand.
“We at the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity are very pleased Akorn chose to expand here in Decatur."


Hickory Point Bank Expands Into Peoria

Hickory Point Bank & Trust, fsb, headquartered in Decatur, has announced the completion of its acquisition of the branch offices, loans, and deposits of Marshall County State Bank/New Capital Bank, with locations in Peoria Heights and Varna, IL.   Now, Hickory Point Bank operates two full service banking centers in the greater Peoria area, 4440 North Prospect Road in Peoria Heights, IL and at 510 Main Street in Varna, IL.  
The Bank will hold grand opening activities to commemorate the official establishment of the branches in mid-October.
  Anthony G. Nestler, President and CEO of Hickory Point Bank stated, “We are excited to invest in the Peoria area.  This acquisition allows us to serve new and existing customers even better.  Hickory Point Bank is currently a market leader in Decatur, Champaign and Springfield, so Peoria is a logical expansion of our geographic footprint.  The New Capital Bank/Marshall County State Bank branches are a natural fit given our shared values, product synergies, capital strength, and commercial banking expertise.”
  “We are equally pleased to welcome a team of experienced commercial and retail bankers that demonstrate our commitment to delivering outstanding personal service.  With our local bankers, and the substantial resources of Hickory Point Bank, we are excited about the enhanced services we can offer the Peoria and Varna communities,” commented Len Kuntzman, Senior Vice President and Peoria Market Manager.
  Hickory Point Bank & Trust, fsb, with total assets of $623 million as of June 30, 2014, is one of central Illinois’ largest locally owned banks.  Hickory Point Bank offers a full line of commercial, mortgage, consumer, online, trust, investment management, and farm management services to central Illinois’ businesses and families, with ten central Illinois locations in Peoria Heights, Varna, Champaign, Springfield, Decatur, and Forsyth.  For more information on Hickory Point Bank services, hours and locations, visit www.hickorypointbank.com.




ADM Announces Sale Of Global Chocolate Business

Archer Daniels Midland Company has announced an agreement to sell its global chocolate business to Cargill for $440 million, subject to a customary working-capital adjustment. The proposed sale is expected to close during the first half of 2015 and is subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions.
“As part of our ongoing portfolio management, we considered several options to strengthen the returns of this part of our business,” said ADM Chairman and CEO Patricia A. Woertz. “The sale of the chocolate business helps improve ADM’s returns and will allow us to redeploy capital for higher-return investments.”
Included in the sale are chocolate manufacturing operations located in Hazleton, Pennsylvania; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Georgetown, Ontario; Liverpool, U.K.; Manage, Belgium; and Mannheim, Germany. Approximately 700 employees will transfer to Cargill with the sale.
At the time of closing, ADM will be ending cocoa processing operations at Hazleton, Pennsylvania. This will result in the elimination of about 90 positions at that location. ADM will offer affected employees severance packages and outplacement assistance.
Following the transaction, the 1,560 employees of ADM cocoa will continue to supply customers around the world with ADM’s renowned deZaan® cocoa ingredients from the company’s cocoa operations in Mississauga, Ontario; Koog aan de Zaan and Wormer, Netherlands; Mannheim, Germany; Ilhéus, Brazil; Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire; Kumasi, Ghana; and Singapore.

 
 
 
 
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The aerial photo of downtown Decatur at the top of this page was shot by Steve Huss.

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