Indian group Godrej Industries has admitted it could sell its stake in its local venture with Hershey, a business it described as “potentially sick”.

The company said on Saturday (11 August) its board had backed plans to explore what to do with its Godrej Hershey venture, which has been the subject of speculation for 12 months.

“Godrej Hershey Limited (GHL) is potentially sick and the shareholders of GHL may look at redressing the issue,” the Indian firm said.

Godrej and Hershey formed the venture in 2007. The US confectioner is the majority shareholder in the business, which sells products from confectionery to soy milk and cooking oil.

This year, reports in India have claimed Hershey is looking to sell its stake in the business. A report in June said Hershey wanted to operate independently in India.

On Saturday, Godrej said its board had “granted approval to explore various possibilities” for the venture. These included, it said, selling some or all of its shares in Godrej Hershey. However, Godrej is also mulling referring the venture to India’s Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction, which can assist in helping ailing businesses or can recommend they close.