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STOP PRESS - Hershey buy out Scharffen Berger!!!
July 26, 2005
12:34 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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The announcement is all over the press, here is one of just many links http://www.just-food.com/news_.....?art=61433, or search on Goolge news.

More soon.

Martin Christy
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http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
July 26, 2005
3:17 pm
alex_h
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what the ****!?!

July 26, 2005
3:30 pm
Sebastian
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This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone - there's clearly a growing trend for indulgent, high end (or percieved high value) products. Cadbury's buying G&B was only the first visable shot across the bow. This opens the larger parent companies up to new markets, and gives the smaller companies the economic power of scale. If I had to guess, I'd say El Rey was next. That's based on the scientifically proven method of conjecture 8-)

July 26, 2005
4:18 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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Yeah, I read that too yesterday. And I thought Scharffen Berger wanted to remain a smaller company.

July 28, 2005
5:04 am
Paul Mc
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quote:


Originally posted by Sebastian
<...> If I had to guess, I'd say El Rey was next. That's based on the scientifically proven method of conjecture 8-)


That would shock me, given Venezuela's feelings about ownership of companies in key industries (see [url="http://www.vheadline.com/readnews.asp?id=42077"]this[/url] and [url="http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news.php?newsno=1692"]this[/url])

...unless of course the acquisition was an expropriation by the Venezuelan government itself, or Sebastian's scientifically proven conjecture method is based upon the proverbial "ear to the ground" in the industry. Such scientific conjecture has benefited many in the past!

July 28, 2005
12:51 pm
Sebastian
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I bet venezuela would drool at the possibility of a large, wealthy corporation setting up shoppe, as it were. Have you seen the status of venezuelas economy of late?

July 28, 2005
4:05 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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It's not too good. Cacao used to be a booming business for Venezuela too, but once oil proved more profitable, greater attention was turned towards that. I don't see a re-emergence of a major cacao industry there unless, of course, a large corporation were to settle their money-soaked feet into their ground. I guess it could be called a "financial momentum," something that can get the bean rolling again.

July 28, 2005
4:29 pm
Paul Mc
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quote:


Originally posted by Sebastian

I bet venezuela would drool at the possibility of a large, wealthy corporation setting up shoppe, as it were. Have you seen the status of venezuelas economy of late?



Admittedly it could be economically attractive so long as it doesn't just suck raw materials out of Venezuela, and I'm sure there's any number of chocolate companies that would love to have a Venezuelan pied-a-terre--it would only require a little ideological backtracking on the part of the government, I suppose, something at which many elected officials are expert.
July 28, 2005
5:15 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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True, but of course, it requires someone to start this endeavor and to essentially build the momentum in the right direction. Are you sure that Venezuelans would be willing to invest this much time and effort into something that doesn't necessarily guarantee financial success? Sure, it's a business gamble that has to be taken in order to realize the chances of success, but if a company with a successful history stepped in, I'm sure that their presence and propositions would pursuade decisions to get things jumping again.

The reason El Rey is so successful is because they do have a successful past to rely upon, and of course, they're the only company of this scale in the country. For another Venezuelan company to compete with them would almost be fiscal suicide, a disaster from the outset.

July 28, 2005
6:48 pm
Sebastian
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I don't think the gov't would care one way or t'other, as long as they got their tax base increased and attracted larger business opportunities. Idealogues or not, if it adds a few hundred jobs and contributes economically, I doubt very much that you'll hear anyone complain.

July 29, 2005
10:30 am
Martin Christy
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To get back on track with this thread ... here's another link about the local reaction to the news http://www.dailycal.org/articl.....p?id=19072 and here is news that John Scharffenberger will be stepping down as CEO [url="http://news.google.com/news?q=scharffen+berger+ceo+step+down&hl=en&lr=&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-25,GGLD:en&sa=N&tab=nn&oi=newsr"]Mercury News[/url] (this is a Google link - a direct link needs a subscription, so not sure how long it will be there). This is not so hot news as John had already said this would be happening earlier in the year - he wants to concentrate on bean sourcing and plantations, etc.

Martin Christy
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http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
August 17, 2005
9:16 pm
choca
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What a sell out by Scharffenberger .
Independance is everything .

August 17, 2005
9:21 pm
choca
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With regard to El Rey , you guys seem to have a strange impression them . My understanding of the situation is that they are already dominated by bussinessmen from the U.S.A after getting into financial problems a couple of years ago , that they are no longer held in high regard by the locals, that they now buy lower Quality beans and do not grow their own beans for their own chocolate as they often tell the trade or public .

August 17, 2005
9:31 pm
Martin Christy
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Sure - check out their corporate headquarters - in Texas!

Martin Christy
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Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
August 17, 2005
9:35 pm
legodude
Norway
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Once you think you are in for a sweet bite, all of sudden the bar is full of bitter beans..

"I`ve got lots of friends in San José. Do you know the way to San José?"
August 19, 2005
2:00 am
Paul Mc
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quote:


Originally posted by choca

With regard to El Rey , you guys seem to have a strange impression them .

My impressions refer to the Venezuelan gov't (see linked article above), not El Rey per se.

quote:


My understanding of the situation is that they are already dominated by bussinessmen from the U.S.A after getting into financial problems a couple of years ago , that they are no longer held in high regard by the locals, that they now buy lower Quality beans and do not grow their own beans for their own chocolate as they often tell the trade or public .

Do you have more details or a source we can read for information about this? It would be interesting if that is so--though it seems pretty serious to post that a company is essentially liars and sellouts. It would be a shame if we who read these postings were to repeat it, if it is not true.

An article as recently as February describes the US operation to be the US division, run by a Venezuelan-born friend of El Rey's president Jorge Redmond, though I suppose that doesn't preclude the possibility that the US businessman holds a majority interest.

I have no personal interest in El Rey other than I like some of their chocolates, and I like the idea of the value-add remaining in the country where the raw material is produced.

Paul

August 19, 2005
2:40 am
Hans-Peter Rot
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El Rey also has corporate headquarters in Japan, but this does not mean they are a Japanese-run business. This is just the corporate office for that certain territory, in much the same manner that the Fredericksberg office here in the US is the head of US sales and imports. In the world of business, they're no different than any other company trying to expand and distribute their product.

I agree with Paul. I would be cautious about what I say because many people would interpret that as slander. Besides, I met some of the El Rey people and spoke with them for quite a while. The US division is merely responsible for sales and distribution, and the head office is in Venezuela.

August 19, 2005
2:43 am
Hans-Peter Rot
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Also, I do not think Scharffen Berger are sell-outs either. That is an unfair comment to make about a company who has strived hard year after year to deliver the finest quailty products possible. From my understanding, John stood down as CEO so that he could concentrate on bean sourcing. In this respect, I would expect to see improved quality rather than diminished.

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