Food processing company Cargill is to acquire the global chocolate business of Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), the two firms announced on Tuesday.

Cargill will pay $440 million, taking over ADM's Ambrosia, Merckens and Schokinag brands to further expand its chocolate making operations. In late 2013, Cargill revealed that it planned to double capacity at its biggest European chocolate facility in Belgium because of rising demand in Europe, Reuters reported.

The transaction with ADM includes the company's three North American chocolate plants, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Hazleton, Pennsylvania; and Georgetown in Ontario, Canada, as well as three plants in Europe: Liverpool in the UK, Manage in Belgium and Mannheim in Germany.

Cargill said that this acquisition is an excellent fit with its existing chocolate business. The new facilities will increase its production capacity, particularly in North America, and will extend and complement its existing chocolate footprint which spans North America, Europe, Asia and Brazil.

The company, which has been making cocoa and chocolate products since 1979, added that it is committed to ensuring the success of the cocoa farmers and markets throughout its global supply chain.

Approximately 700 ADM employees will transfer to Cargill with the sale. When the deal is completed ADM will end its cocoa processing operations in Hazleton, resulting in the loss of about 90 jobs.

The transaction currently remains subject to regulatory approval in the United States and the European Union. It is expected to close in the first half of 2015.