Hershey For Sale ?

Friday, July 26, 2002 7:00 AM
We're supposed to be in Chocolate Town to review the park, but the big story here today is not my impressions of roller coasters. It is the surprise announcement that the Hershey Foundation, which owns the town, park, school, factory, sports complex and every other facility in the community, is putting it all up for sale. They've had serious labor problems at the factory this year and CEO Richard Lenny says the uncertain economy makes future prospects shaky. Trustees use the argument that their obligation is to the school and the Charitable Trust Fund, and if the best way to guarantee their continued viability is to sell the other assets, that is what they have to do.

Cadbury and Nestle are expected to be the top bidders for the candy factory. Both are European companies.

But what makes this a Coasterbuzz story is that they say they're only interested in the candy operation, not the other assets. They would put the other assets up for sale. This means the amusement park would go on the block.

The park is profitable and will certainly attract bidders. But who would end up owning it, or what that might mean to its unique atmosphere, is a matter of speculation.

It technically is run as a separate entity already, with its own management. But whether the management group could buy out the ownership will be another issue for debate.

With all the uncertainty, the feeling here in America's last surviving company town is that anyone wanting to see Hershey and the park as it has always been should plan a trip before this season ends. The coming Winter could see changes and no one knows what they might be.

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 7:02 AM
Hershey just bought Dutch Wonderland this year too.

-----------------
www.coasterimage.com
Dorney Park visits in 2002: 14

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 7:03 AM
I've heard that Cedar Fair was looking into Hershey, that would be cool, but do we need a nother Cedar Fair park?

-----------------
Virtual Coasters - http://www.virtual-coasters.tk

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 7:05 AM
This is pretty sad, really. I just went to Hershey last week, expecting a big tourist trap, but it was basically just a nice little small town. I hope this isn't ruined.

-----------------
He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 7:06 AM
*cross fingers* KennyCorp ... KennyCorp ... make the move to the big-time ...

-----------------
Steel - #1 Mantis, #2 Millie, #3 Wicked Twister ||| Wood - #1 Thunderbolt, #2 Villain, #3 Beast
"The key to a happy life is moderation" -- Jon Stewart

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 7:08 AM
well its not like hershey was adding coasters at an alarming rate. i mean maybe it would be better if cedar fair bought it

-----------------
sfgadv B&M flyer for 03

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 7:13 AM

If this it true I hope Cedar Fair will buy it. That way I'd only need to by one season pass for Dorney and Hershey!

In all honesty I don't think this is true. HERCO (forget what it stands for) not the chocolate company run the park and the stadium where they have the summer concerts. There are alot of businesses in Hershey using the Hershey name: Hershey Chocolate, Hershey Foods, Hershey Ice Cream, Hersheypark, Hershey Bears (AHL Hockey team) it doesn't mean they are owned by the same company.

sfmm15 what do you mean Hershey wasn't addding coasters at an alarming rate!

Wildcat 1996

Great Bear 1998

Wild Mouse 1999

Lightning Racer 2000

Roller Soaker 2002

They over doubled their coaster count in less than a decade. I think thats a pretty good pace.

-----------------
Knoebels visits in 2002. 6

*** This post was edited by coasterpunk on 7/26/2002. ***

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 7:16 AM

Call out rumor control on this one:

Hershey Foods has been put up for sale by Hershey Trust.

Hershey Resorts and Entertainment is a seperate entity from Hershey Foods.

Hershey Resorts and Entertainment owns the following: Hersheypark, Dutchwonderland, Hotel Hershey, Hershey Bears AHL Hockey Team, High Meadow Campground, Hershey Laundry and Textiles, Hersheypark Arena - Stadium and Star Pavillion, and Hershey Nursery.

Hershey Resorts and Entertainment manages (but does not own) the Chocolatetown Cafe (located in Chocolate World).

Hershey Trust is said to be interested in divesting itself of Hershey Foods. At this point in time no mention has been made about Hershey Resorts and Entertainment (wich I believe Hershey Trust also has controlling interest in)

Nothign official has been said how this will affect operations park or any other of Hershey Entertainment and Resorts holdings.

While not related directly, an official press release from the Hershey Bears Hockey Team yesterday talked about the signing of a player for a 1 year contract. No mention what so ever was made of any changes. No mention was also made in the news paper this morning on that same story. It appears to be business as normal for the hockey team... which probably means business as normal for Hershey Entertainment and Restorts in general (which includes Hersheypark).

For the record, Hershey Foods is expected to bring a price of between 10 and 13 billion dollars. Yesterday its stock shot up greatly after announcement of the possible sale. Top three candidates to buy Hershey Foods are Kraft, Nestle and Cadbury Schweps. This morning it announced that in fact Nestle may be the front runner. Hershey manufactures and markets Kit-Kat candy bars under license from Nestle. IF Hershey were to be sold to another interest, Nestle may not want its license to go along with it. It was speculated that the deal may not appear as sweet if Kit-Kat (one of Hershey's biggest sellers) is not part of it.

Not official, but one thing that MAY be seen at the park as a direct result of this is the costumed characters and the height measurement system in place. All characters and references to Hershey candy / foods used at the park are licensed by Hershey Foods for use by Hershey Entertainment and Resorts at the park. Should Hershey Foods be sold, who knows what will happen to that licensing.

Also, not sure how this will or affect Chocolateworld, which is in fact owned and operated by Hersheyfoods (I think... but not sure).

Don't hold your breath for "Six Flags over Hershey" or "Cedar Fair at Hershey" just yet.

I'm following this one closely. Not only because of the park (woudl hate to see ANY changes in ownership there... but again, there are other parks around)... but also because of the Hershey Bears hockey team (20 years of season tickets there... would hate to see changes there more than in the park).

CoasterPunk is right, but a little out dated, about HERCO. The original name of the company, years ago, was Hershey Estates. Sometime ago HERCO was created. At that time I believe Hershey Foods was "a division of HERCO" but can not be sure. A few years ago (I forget how many), Hershey Entertainment and Resorts was created and manage the entities / venues mentioned above.

A good example of the use of the name Hershey and its use is Hershey's Ice Cream. That I do not even believe is part of any thing related to the larger corporations known as Hershey. For example, at the Arena, a few years ago they used to sell this... then they sold Jack and Jill Ice Cream, and for the past few years they have been selling Ben and Jerry's. Are they selling their "competition" as some have stated. No... because if you do not own or are not associated with the product, selling another brand is not the competion. However, because of their close ties with Hershey Foods, they do not seel candy other than Hershey products at the Arena. Come to think of it, for every other hockey team visiting the arena, they put the team name on the boards ("Bears -vs- Phantoms", "Bears -vs- Amerks" ets) except for one... its always "Bears -vs- Syracuse"... see, Syracuse's team is the Syracuse Crunch... and the talk is that they do not want to do free advertising for Hershey's competion by putting the words "Bears -vs- Crunch" on the boards.

-----------------
Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 7/26/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 7/26/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 7/26/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 7/26/2002. ***

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 7:25 AM

SLFAKE I love going to see the Bears! We went about 10 times last season and were there for the final home game of the season. Heck I still have the special candy bar they gave out. When do tickets go on sale for the first home game in the new arena?

-----------------
Knoebels visits in 2002. 6

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 7:29 AM

Not go get off subject, but tickets to the general public are not yet on sale as the schedule is not yet complete. However, season tickets to the general public went on sale in June after the current season ticket holders selected and bought their seats in the new Giant Center.

Look for tickets to go on sale in late aug or early sept when the schedule is published.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled CoasterBuzz...

-----------------
Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 7:36 AM
If it is true... please please... not six flags over hershey. Never ever ever six flags over hershey.
+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 7:52 AM

Maybe they should put Krackle vs. Crunch on the scoreboard. Krackle is better anyway.

Looking at the basic issue though, threatening to sell the company is a common tactic in labor disputes. I highly doubt that it will really happen.

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 9:19 AM
SLFAKE: Could you give a little more detail please?.

Great explanation.

-----------------
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
Favorite Wood: Viper(SFGAm), Legend (HW)
Favorite Steel: MF (CP), Mamba (WoF)

*** This post was edited by DEK on 7/26/2002. ***

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 9:30 AM

I was about to say... the park is NOT for sale. Search the news sources and you'll get the story that has more or less already been told.

-----------------
Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
7/27: Subdivision Cam becomes party cam at the year's hottest Ohio luau!

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 10:03 AM

SLFAKE, thank you for the detailed information. You seem like a well-ballanced and trustworthy source of information on the subject. You have helped ease the tension I was feeling after reading the original post which started this thread. It is amazing what misinformation and false rumors can do. Thanks again.

-Greg

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 1:28 PM

The park and resorts will not be included in the sale. It is for Hershey Foods only. It is basically a response to the chocolate workers strike about six months ago. If any company is able to buy Hershey Foods, it is Nestle. M&M/Mars is in no financial position to make such a move.

Intersting side note: Look on the back of a Kit Kat and you will see that although it is a Hershey product, it is produced under license from Nestle.

-----------------
http://www.eastcoaster.com

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 4:44 PM
But that's the point. The three likely high bidders are only interested in the candy business, not the other assets. And the management group operating the park doesn't own the park; it only owns the management rights under a long term agreement. Hershey Trust still owns the park. Yes, the group might raise the resources to buy the park, but if they have to submit a bid to a new owner, we don't know what might happen. This is why I phrased the post as a question. We don't know any of these answers. It would be exaggerating to say the park is definitely going to be sold, but it's an equal exaggeration to say there's no chance of that happening. What is fair is to report that we are entering a period of uncertainty here. After 100 years of absolute certainty, that's newsworthy.

*** This post was edited by Trekker Park on 7/26/2002. ***

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 5:44 PM

Never said the park won't be sold... sometime. However, Hershey Trust has stated that it is divesting itself of Hershey Foods... none of its other holdings.

Uncertainty, yes. Who would have ever thought that Hershey Trust would ever sell off Hershey foods. HOWEVER, all of the entities that fall undre Hershey Entertainment and Resorts are centered in and around Hershey.

Several years ago Hershey sold off several hotels that it owned out side of the Hershey area... along with getting out of a management agreement with Lake Compounce (before Kennywood Entertianment got involed) as it decided to concentrate on the entities in and around Hershey itself.

Not sure about any long term management agreements between Hershey Entertainment and Resorts and Hershey Trust... but IF negotiations are in fact needed, it will not be with a new owner... it would be with Hershey Trust.

Bottom line is this... Hershey Trust (which does own just about every thing up there) is interested in selling off Hershey Foods... period. Nothing has mentioned about Hershey Entertainment and Resorts. Might they do that at somedate in the future? Possibly, who knows. However, at this point in time, 9:47pm, July 26, 2002, all reports have it that Hershey Foods and only Hershey Foods appears to be on the auction block.

Side Note: The strike was mentioned. Two things to say about that. 1) During the strike, operaitons at Hersheypark and Hersheypark Arena were not affected... it was business as usual. Granged, the strike did only affect the Chocloate Workers Local. 2) Most local sources say that the strike probably did not cause the decision to sell, BUT it probably contributed to it. Hard to believe that Hershey Trust would sell off Hershey Foods on a whim after the strike... but if they had been weighing the idea for a while, the talk locally is that the strike may have been the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back".

-----------------
Face it, call ourselves what we want, but to the parks we are all "GP".

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 7/26/2002. ***

+0
Friday, July 26, 2002 7:15 PM

Trekker Park said:
The three likely high bidders are only interested in the candy business, not the other assets. And the management group operating the park doesn't own the park; it only owns the management rights under a long term agreement. Hershey Trust still owns the park. Yes, the group might raise the resources to buy the park, but if they have to submit a bid to a new owner, we don't know what might happen.


Trekker Park, your posts imply that the Hershey School Trust would like to sell HERCO as well as Hershey Foods. I have seen nothing indicating this. Do you have any sources that you could point out to us.

As far as I can tell, we can assume that Hersheypark and the other interests operated by HERCO will remain under the ownership of the Hershey School Trust and little will change.

As an unqualified aside... while on a tour in Hershey, I seem to remember being told that HERCO, or whatever it may have been called at the time of its inception, was established to fund the school. If this is the case, then I would think it is even more likely that the school trust would continue to own the park and other attractions.

+0
Saturday, July 27, 2002 6:40 AM

I found a very interesting article describing the history and current interests of the Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company. I pass it along in case anyone else is interested.

http://www.hersheyarchives.org/part1/corhistory/corhis.html

*** This post was edited by gardener14 on 7/27/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by gardener14 on 7/27/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by gardener14 on 7/27/2002. ***

+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...