Godrej Consumer, Hershey to end joint venture: report

Godrej Consumer Products Ltd and US-based chocolate and confectionery major Hershey Co have decided to end their joint venture in India, following differences in running the joint venture.

At a recent board meeting, both sides mutually agreed to call off the partnership, following which Hershey's will sell its 51-per cent stake in Godrej Hershey Limited to Godrej for an undisclosed amount.

Godrej is apparently dissatisfied with the slow progress of the Rs450-crore Godrej Hershey's venture at a time when other manufacturers have been recording good growth in the chocolates category.

Four years into the venture, the US company did not progress beyond introducing its popular chocolate syrup, which was launched in 2008. In contrast, Godrej had contributed a number of brands to the venture, says the report.

The Godrej Group and The Hershey Company had formed their 51:49 joint venture Godrej Hershey Limited in 2007, with the US firm acquiring the 40-per cent stake owned by IL&FS's, 5 per cent from Godrej Industries and the remaining 6 per cent from Godrej Consumer Products managing director A Mahendran.

Hershey introduced its Hershey's Syrup in the joint venture,  while Godrej brought in its Nutrine portfolio and fruit drink brand Jumpin, juices and nectars brand Xs  and soya milk brand Sofit.