Hershey Co..'s Netherlands-based global division has agreed to buy Shanghai Golden Monkey Food Co., which employs 5,000 at five China factories making chocolates, other candies and "fast growing protein-based bean products," the Hershey, Pa.-based candymaker says here. Hershey will pay $498 million in cash and assume $86 million in Golden Monkey debt, pending approvals, the buyer says here.
Still a major employer in central Pennsylvania, Hershey has closed and demolished some of its older plants and is intent on expanding in faster-growing markets outside the U.S., including a new plant in Malaysia.
"Shanghai Golden Monkey is the type of business we've been focused on for potential M&A," Hershey International boss Humberto P. Alfonso said in the company's statement. "It fits Hershey's acquisition criteria: it is located in our primary international market, China; it is a pure play confectionery and snacks company; and it has distribution into channels where Hershey products have yet to penetrate." He called Golden Monkey an "iconic" China brand.