Hershey Co. has been given the green light by India's Foreign Investment Promotion Board for its proposed acquisition of a 51% stake in the Indian food and drink group Godrej Beverages, local reports have said.

The Economic Times of India reported that the US confectionery giant will acquire the 51% stake in Godrej Beverages, part of Godrej Industries Ltd., for INR2.38bn (US$55m). The acquisition will be made up of a 40% stake bought from the private equity arm of IL&FS, and additional shares, a source close to the deal said.

As just-food earlier reported, the deal has been rumoured to be happening since February. Reports back then suggested that following the acquisition, parent Godrej Industries would hold 43% of the food and drinks group, while 6% would be held by a senior executive within the Godrej group.

Godrej manufactures tea, edible oils, beverages, packaged foods and confectionery.

Earlier in the year, Hershey's formed a joint venture with Korea's leading confectionery and ice cream maker Lotte Confectionery to manufacture Lotte and Hershey products for the Chinese market.