The Hershey Co. has entered into an agreement to acquire China's Golden Monkey Food Joint Stock Co. Ltd. as part of its ongoing expansion in Asian markets.
“The strength of (Golden Monkey’s) confectionery portfolio and overall distribution capabilities, especially within the traditional trade, is an opportunity for us to leverage scale to make the iconic brands of Hershey and (Golden Monkey) even more powerful,” Hershey’s President and CEO John P. Bilbrey said in an early-morning announcement.
Hershey, through its subsidiary Hershey Netherlands B.V., would own 80 percent of the Shanghai-based Golden Monkey, according to the Dauphin County-based candy company. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014 after approval from Golden Monkey shareholders and the Chinese government.
Expansion in China is the crown jewel of Hershey’s strategy to increase its global sales portfolio. Since Hershey increased its presence there several years ago, the company has seen quarterly revenue growth in China as high as 20 percent.
Earlier this year, Hershey launched the Lancaster brand milk-based candy line in China. Golden Monkey produces similar types of dairy-based candies, including a cheese candy.