CHICAGO (AP) _ Fannie May Candy Shops Inc., a 71-year-old maker of boxed chocolates, was purchased by an investment firm and Fannie May's management, the parties said Monday.

Terms of the deal were not announced. Fannie May had been owned mainly by the Jean Thorne family.

The management of the Chicago-based candy company will remain in place, the new owners said.

''The commitment to provide our customers with the best-tasting and freshest candies in the entire country remains our number one goal,'' Richard Peritz, Fannie May's chief executive, said in a statement.

The Jordan Co., a New York and Chicago investment firm, found Fannie May an attractive property because of its steady growth, its good management and its high name recognition in the Midwest, said Tom Quinn, who oversees a number of Jordan companies and will become Fannie May's new chairman.

Fannie May, with $100 million in annual sales, distributes its candies through about 260 company-owned shops in 14 states, mostly in the Midwest, Peritz said.

The company employs more than 2,300 people, he said.

The Jordan Co. was established in 1982 and has since acquired about 35 companies including the American Safety Razor Co., maker of Flicker and Personna shaving products.