Hershey eyes expansion with acquisition in India

by Eric Schroeder
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MUMBAI, INDIA — The Hershey Co. may be acquiring a 51% stake in Godrej Beverages & Foods in multiple transactions, a move that would make Hershey the largest player in the Indian confectionery market.

According to an article in The Economic Times, Hershey would pay Rs 238 crore ($54 million) for Godrej Beverages & Foods, which represents the foods and beverages business of the Mumbai-based Godrej group.

Godrej Beverages & Foods was created last year when Godrej Industries transferred its foods division to Godrej Tea. The company develops such products as tea, edible oils, health drinks and bakery fats.

But according to The Economic Times, the main attraction for Hershey is Godrej’s presence in the confectionery market. In June 2006, Godrej acquired Nutrine, the largest domestic confectionery brand in India.

If completed, the transaction would mark Hershey’s second significant international acquisition in recent months. In late January, Hershey and Lotte Confectionery Co., Ltd., Korea’s leading confectionery and ice cream manufacturer, announced a manufacturing joint venture in China that will produce Hershey and Lotte products for the market in China.

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