Godrej Consumer Rises on Hershey Stake Purchase Report

(Corrects to say company may purchase stake in first paragraph.)

Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. (GCPL) rose to its highest level in more than nine months in Mumbai trading after the Economic Times reported the Indian maker of household products may buy Hershey Co. (HSY)’s stake in a local joint venture.

Shares of Godrej Consumer gained as much as 3.4 percent to the highest level since Sept. 20. They advanced 2.2 percent to 447.5 rupees at 1:30 p.m. in Mumbai, and were the best performing stock on the Bombay Stock Exchange Fast Moving Consumer Goods Index.

Godrej Consumer will buy Hershey’s 51 percent stake in the joint venture with the Godrej Group for an undisclosed amount, the newspaper reported today, without saying where it got the information. Hershey said in a statement April 3, 2007, that it agreed to form a joint venture with Godrej Beverages and Foods Ltd. to manufacture and distribute confectionery products, snacks and beverages in the South Asian country.

Adi Godrej, chairman of Godrej Consumer, declined to comment on what he called “market speculation,” according to an e-mailed statement. Kirk Saville, a spokesman for the Hershey, Pennsylvania-based chocolate and candy maker, wasn’t available immediately when contacted in his office before business hours.

To contact the reporter on this story: Malavika Sharma in New Delhi at msharma52@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Longid at flongid@bloomberg.net.

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