Hershey to buy out Indian joint venture partner Godrej

Last Updated: Fri, Sep 07, 2012 16:10 hrs

REUTERS - Hershey Co plans to buy the remaining 49 percent in its Indian joint venture that it does not already own, giving it full control of a chocolate business in one of the world's biggest markets.

Hershey said it will buy out its partner, Godrej Industries Ltd , and another minority shareholder.

Hershey will assume about $47.6 million in debt, and will own the Maha Lacto and Nutrine candy brands and the Jumpin and Sofit beverage brands, as well as the related factories.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter, after which the wholly owned subsidiary will be called Hershey India.

In 2011, the Godrej Hershey joint venture had net sales of about $80 million and a net loss.

Hershey said the deal does not change its financial outlook.

Hershey shares were down 30 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $72.86 on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting By Martinne Geller in New York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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