Whitman to purchase Durango candy firm
Durango — Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory said it has accepted a $16.3 million buyout offer by Whitman Candies Inc.
The Durango-based chocolatier said Whitman, which shares offices with Russell Stover in Kansas City, Mo., offered to purchase its outstanding common stock for $6.25 per share.
That is 9 percent higher than an offer made by Whitman in May and spurned by Rocky Mountain.
”After an exhaustive analysis of our strategic options (our) board of directors determined that it was in the best interest of our shareholders to accept Whitman’s offer,” said Franklin Crail, chairman and chief executive officer of Rocky Mountain.
The proposed sale still requires shareholder approval, but Rocky Mountain said it expects the deal to close within the next few months.
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory has been in business since 1981.
It operates more than 200 stores and franchises in the United States, Canada and Asia, producing more than 2 million pounds of chocolate annually.
On May 10, Whitman’s Candies offered to pay $15 million for Rocky Mountain Chocolate, or $5.75 a share.
At that time, Rocky Mountain’s board stated that the tender offer was ”not in the best interests of Rocky Mountain or its shareholders.”
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