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Archibald Candy Selling Fannie May

January 5, 2004

CHICAGO (AP) _ Archibald Candy Corp. announced Monday that it is selling its Fannie May and Fanny Farmer businesses to an unidentified buyer and shutting down its decades-old manufacturing plant in Chicago, putting 625 employees out of work.

The 84-year-old candy maker made the announcement after informing representatives of its five labor unions. It said it is in ``final negotiations″ with a buyer for its candy businesses.

The new owner will supply the candy to keep the Fannie May and Fanny Farmer brands going, Archibald spokesman Ron Bottrell said. But no buyer could be found for the aging plant.

``As we began this process it was our hope that we might be able to sell the businesses intact, including the Chicago manufacturing plant,″ chief financial officer Rick Anglin said.

``However, it is apparent based on our analysis of operational alternatives and discussions with prospective buyers that the nearly 70-year-old facility on West Jackson Boulevard is not viable for cost-competitive production and will not be among the assets acquired.″

Archibald employees have been fearing such an announcement since obtaining a purported company document last month that they said outlined plans to close the candy-making plant on Jan. 17.

The company said it expects to announce a transaction in the near future.

Bottrell said there was no definite timing in terms of a final shutdown, ``although things will start winding down this month.″

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