Court move to block sale of Hershey
Monday 02 September 2002
The sale of an American icon could be thrown into jeopardy tomorrow if a court backs an attempt by the Pennsylvania attorney general to disrupt the auction of Hershey Foods.
Mike Fisher moved to halt the sale of the chocolate maker, which has caused consternation in the company's home town of Hershey, by filing for an injunction in the Dauphin County Orphans' Court. He will argue that the community would suffer "irreparable harm" if the company were sold.
Analysts have pointed to the emotional baggage that a takeover of Hershey carries to explain the lack of what the trustees hoped would be a fierce bidding war. Nestlé, the Swiss food giant, is understood to have made a $11.5bn (£7.4bn) offer for Hershey, although it has since pointed to the regulatory pitfall its bid would carry in an attempt to talk down the price. However, Nestlé is also believed to have been exploring a possible side deal with Cadbury Schweppes, that could see the smaller UK group regain control of US licences on its products such as Crème Egg from Hershey. Kraft Foods, the owner of Toblerone and Milka chocolate, which is controlled by the tobacco giant Philip Morris, is also believed to have made an offer.
The court, which has jurisdiction because it oversees charitable trusts in Dauphin County, east Pennsylvania, will hear Mr Fisher's motion on Tuesday. His move – interpreted by cynics as a ploy to boost his chances of victory in upcoming elections for state governor – provoked a legal challenge by Hershey's controlling trustees, which put the company up for sale last month.
The Milton Hershey School, which owns 31 per cent of Hershey but controls 77 per cent of the voting rights, has until 9 September to respond to Mr Fisher's petition. The trust, which is keen to diversify its investments after the recent turbulence of stock markets, has argued that exploring a possible sale is in keeping with its fiduciary obligations.
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Raphael Ravenscroft dead: 'Baker Street' musician who played the most famous saxophone solo for just £27, dies aged 60
Darren Vann: Indiana man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear more
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...
£23000 per annum + pension and 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ...