Kisses from Hershey: Candymaker may court Cadbury with $17 billion bid


Hershey (HSY) is an odd sort of company. Its governance is not in the hands of its board of directors. A charity called the Hershey Trust, established in 1894, effectively decides how the confectionery company is run and who will run it. Hershey has its own board, but in some ways it is close to a symbolic body set up to satisfy U.S. Securities and Exchange regulations.

The trust is starting to push the maker of Hershey's Kisses and Reese's peanut butter cups to make a bid for United Kingdom-based candy and chocolates giant Cadbury (CBY). Kraft (KFT) has already made an offer of $16.5 billion, which Cadbury says is inadequate. According to an exclusive report in The Wall Street Journal, "The charitable trust that controls Hershey Co. is pushing the chocolate giant to launch a rival, $17 billion bid for Cadbury PLC that would be bigger and include more cash than what Kraft Foods Inc. has offered."