Hershey Food Corporation

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HERSHEY FOODS CORPORATION: BITTER TIMES IN A SWEET PLACE Teaching Note Synopsis and Objectives The proposed sale of Hershey Foods Corporation (HFC) during the summer of 2002 captured headlines and imaginations. After all, Hershey was an American icon, and when the company’s largest shareholder, the Hershey Trust Company (HSY), asked HFC management to explore a sale, the story drew national and international attention. The company’s unusual governance structure put the Hershey Trust’s board in the difficult position of making both an economic and a governance decision. On the one hand, the board faced a challenging economic decision that centered on determining whether the solicited bids provided a fair premium for HFC…show more content…
To facilitate the valuation aspect of the analysis, free-cash-flow forecasts are provided in case Exhibit 10 for Hershey as a stand-alone entity. Most students should find it easy to calculate a value for Hershey using the discounted-cash-flow (DCF) method and industry-comparable multiples, which also are provided. As with any valuation case, students must make judgments about the appropriate capital structure, the weighted average cost of capital (WACC), sales growth, and the terminal growth rate. Once students have explored the value drivers for Hershey though sensitivity analysis, they may then evaluate the bids from both Nestlé S.A.–Cadbury Schweppes PLC (NCS) and the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. They will want to examine whether the bids are fair from the perspective of HFC shareholders and whether the synergies assumed by the bidders in their offer prices are reasonable. The instructor may vary the emphasis on different issues by altering the study questions and by the choice of video clips. The case is well suited for courses and classes concerning corporate governance, valuation, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate social responsibility. The following objectives of the case allow students to: • Explore the unusual corporate-governance and ownership issues affecting a company with a

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