US major to become top player in Indian confectionary market

By Sriparna   |   Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 06:00 Hrs
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MUMBAI: America's largest chocolate and confectionary maker, Hershey is acquiring 51 percent in India's Godrej Beverages & Foods Ltd. for $54 million. This would mark the exit of financial investor IL&FS from the venture while the holdings of Godrej group and that of an individual investor A Mahendran would come down, reported a national daily. Post acquisition, parent Godrej Industries Ltd. would hold 43 percent in the firm, Hershey 51 percent equity, while six percent equity shares will be held by a senior executive with the Godrej group. A senior executive at Godrej Beverages & Foods said the report was speculative. "We are talking to many people, and Hershey is one among them. The talks may or may not culminate in a deal," he said.Hershey would also license some of its trademark rights to Godrej Beverages & Foods for about $2 million, besides royalty payments for domestic sales and exports, the newspaper said. Godrej Beverages sells tea, edible oils, beverages, packaged foods and confectionery. It had acquired Nutrine, India's largest confectionery brand, last year, for about 2.5 billion rupees.