Pa. attorney general wants trust to disclose Hershey sale process

Petition seeks to hamper deal for candy-maker

August 13, 2002|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Hershey Foods Corp., the biggest U.S. maker of chocolate candy, should disclose in court details of its proposed sale process and all offers, Pennsylvania Attorney General Michael Fisher proposed yesterday.

Fisher filed a petition with Dauphin County Orphans' Court, which oversees charitable trust decisions in the state, to try to discourage the sale of Hershey by the charitable trust that controls the company's voting shares.

"Potential buyers must know they can't just strike a business deal for Hershey Foods," Fisher said in a statement.

He also proposed that court approval be required for any sale.

The Hershey Trust said last month that it was putting Hershey Foods up for sale to diversify its investments. It has to prove to the court why a sale should not require its approval, Fisher said.

Shares of Hershey rose 80 cents yesterday to close at $74.56 on the New York Stock Exchange. They have risen 25 percent in the past year.

Fisher, who is running for governor, has also said that he and state legislators want to explore changing a law so that companies would have to consider a community's best interest when being sold.

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