D.D. Williamson Acquires Cargill's Cerestar Caramel Operation

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 27, 2004--D.D. Williamson, the world leader in caramel colour, has acquired Cargill's Cerestar caramel colour operation in Manchester, England. The agreement with Europe's largest glucose manufacturer strengthens D.D. Williamson's global supply operations and expands its product line, advancing an existing supplier partnership between Cargill and D.D. Williamson.

D.D. Williamson will source glucose syrup via pipeline from Cargill's Cerestar starch refinery in Manchester to manufacture a broader line of caramel colour and burnt sugar products for global markets. With the acquisition, D.D. Williamson will now operate two European production facilities. The company's first European operation, located in Co. Cork, Ireland, recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of its construction.

"The Cork and Manchester plants are complementary, and the combination creates greater value for our customers," said Ted Nixon, CEO. "Producing foods and beverages with consistently high quality on a global scale means having trusted suppliers who can deliver proven ingredients reliably, quickly, and consistently," added Mr. Nixon. The acquisition gives D.D. Williamson further depth in its supply operations to support growing customer commitments and further expands its product line for new customer markets.

"Our focus is on caramel colour and has been for 138 years," continued Nixon. "All of our research and development efforts target ingredients that provide colouring solutions for food and beverage processors. The D.D. Williamson/Cargill strategic partnership reinforces our commitment to customers' needs to enhance the visual appeal of their final products. It also demonstrates our commitment as the global leader in caramel colour."

Cargill and D.D. Williamson are both privately-held companies founded in 1865 with head offices located in the USA.

D.D. Williamson is the world's largest manufacturer of caramel colour for leading, global companies in beverages, flavours, sauces, gravies, soups, baked goods, dry mixes, pet foods and pharmaceuticals. The company operates seven manufacturing sites in the USA, Puerto Rico, Ireland, China, Swaziland and Brazil. Visit www.caramel.com for more information.

Cargill is an international marketer, processor and distributor of agricultural, food, financial, and industrial products and services with 98,000 employees in 61 countries. The company provides distinctive customer solutions in supply chain management, food applications, health and nutrition. Visit www.cargillfoods.com for more information.

CONTACT: D.D. Williamson Campbell Barnum, 502-895-2438 or 1-800-CARAMEL (from USA) campbell.barnum@ddwmson.com