South Korea’s Lotte Confectionery has struck a deal to buy India-based Havmor Ice Cream.
The acquisition marks the entry of Lotte Confectionery, which already does business in India’s confectionery market, into the country’s ice-cream sector. Lotte Confectionery is one of the largest ice-cream manufacturers in South Korea.
The deal has valued family-owned Havmor Ice Cream, which has two manufacturing plants and does business in 14 Indian states, at INR10.2bn (US$157.8m).
There were reports in India this spring that Havmor, said to be the country’s seventh-largest ice-cream manufacturer in what remains a fragmented category, had attracted interest from potential suitors.
Havmor Ice Cream’s origins date back to 1944 when the company was set up in what is now the Pakistan city of Karachi by Satish Chona. Business resumed in Ahmedabad in 1953 after Partition.
The company claims to have been India’s “fastest-growing ice cream brand over the last five years”. It markets its ice cream and desserts through the retail channel and operates its own chain of restaurants.
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In a joint statement, Havmor Ice Cream chairman Pradeep Chona and managing director Ankit Chona said: “This decision was a very difficult one to make. It’s a brand that we have nurtured with our team for over 73 years. But we believe that Lotte Confectionery is the right brand to take the company to the next level.”
Lotte Confectionery’s existing business in India includes its local flagship brand Choco Pie.