Hershey Trust to Reform Rules as Mondelez Increases Scrutiny

Hershey Trust Co., the $12 billion charity that controls the Hershey chocolate company, reached a deal with the Pennsylvania attorney general to reform its management practices, ending an investigation into the scandal-scarred nonprofit group. The trust, which has faced allegations of lavish spending by board members in recent years, agreed to various governance changes, including term limits and a cap on compensation for board members. The deal also calls for three members of the trust’s board to resign by the end of the year, according to a statement Friday from Kathleen Kane, the attorney general of Pennsylvania. The Hershey Trust, established in the early 1900s by Milton Hershey, has been back in the spotlight after Mondelez International Inc. made a $23 billion bid to buy the chocolate company last month. The trust controls the candy maker through voting shares and has been seen as an obstacle to takeover attempts. That’s made the turmoil at the nonprofit — and the push to change its management practices — of strong interest to Hershey investors. “All of our efforts that led to this agreement were made to ensure that the vision of Milton and Catherine Hershey remains intact,” Kane said in the statement.

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