HERSHEY, PA. — The Hershey Co. has agreed to purchase 450,000 shares of its common stock from Hershey Trust Co. for $106.30 per share, or approximately $48 million.
“Hershey regularly buys back shares as part of its stock replenishment program,” said Michele G. Buck, president and chief executive officer, The Hershey Co. “Today’s transaction is consistent with that practice. The company continues to have flexibility to invest in our brands and in the capabilities that give us a competitive edge at retail and with consumers.”
In addition to Hershey’s purchase of the stock, Morgan Stanley reached agreement to acquire 4,050,000 shares of Hershey common stock.
Hershey Trust Co. is the trustee of the Milton Hershey School Trust, which under Milton and Catherine Hershey’s 1909 Deed of Trust funds the Milton Hershey School.
Hershey Trust Co. said the two common stock sales will not change its majority voting control of The Hershey Co., but will provide additional diversification of Milton Hershey School Trust resources. The Milton Hershey School Trust will continue to own more than 3.8 million shares of Hershey common stock, as well as more than 60 million shares of B stock. The Milton Hershey School Trust will maintain more than 80% of the total shareholder vote for Hershey Co.
“The boards of Hershey Trust Co./Milton Hershey School approved today’s sale of the common shares of The Hershey Co. to further diversify the assets that support the Milton Hershey School,” said Robert Heist, chairman of the boards. “These resources will help advance Milton and Catherine’s mission to fund the Milton Hershey School in perpetuity, in an effort to end the cycle of poverty for thousands of children who attend it each and every year.
“Today’s action demonstrates the Trust’s continuing confidence in the performance of The Hershey Co. and is consistent with the objective of Trust portfolio diversification, without affecting the Trust’s voting control of The Hershey Co.”