SHANGHAI, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Hershey Netherlands B.V., a wholly-owned subsidiary of New York-listed Hershey, has signed an agreement to acquire a Shanghai candy firm.
The Shanghai Golden Monkey Food Group on Friday confirmed the agreement, adding that the acquisition worth 24.168 billion yuan (3.98 billion U.S. dollars), or 80 percent of its stake, is set to be completed in the second quarter of 2014.
Hershey is expected to acquire the remaining 20-percent stake worth 6.042 billion yuan one year after the first transaction.
Hershey, America's largest chocolate producer, will also take over Golden Monkey's 5.222 billion yuan in debt for the acquisition, according to the Shanghai firm.
The private firm, which was established in 1994, is one of China's top three candy producers. Chocolate and candy sales generate 75 percent of its revenues, with the rest from bean products and refreshments.
The deal is another major overseas merger and acquisition of a Chinese corporation in the Chinese food market. In 2011, Nestle, the world's largest food producer, purchased Chinese snack and candy maker Hsu Fu Chi International, Ltd. for 1.62 billion U.S. dollars.