The beleaguered Hershey Trust Company is much in the news.  On February10, 2011, former Hershey Trust board member Robert Reese filed a petition in the Dauphin County Orphan’s Court asking the court to compel current and former members of the trust company’s board of directors to redress "breaches of trust."  Reese filed the petition on February 10, 2011 and an amendment to the petition of February 11. 2011.

This follows much bad press about alleged self-dealing on behalf of the board by acquiring Pumpkin World and Penn Wren Golf Course at grossly inflated prices. (And wouldn’t you know it?  Board members had interests in the purchased land.)

Today we have this news: 

HERSHEY, Pa., Feb. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Hershey Trust Company ("HTC") announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Bryn Mawr Bank Corporation ("Bryn Mawr Trust") under which Bryn Mawr Trust will acquire the entire HTC Private Wealth Management Group (the "PWMG Business").  The transaction, which is subject to various closing conditions, including HTC and Bryn Mawr Trust both receiving regulatory approval, is expected to be completed within 90 days.

"The Hershey Trust Company has been taking ongoing steps to return its full focus to its core mission of managing the assets of the Milton Hershey School Trust," said LeRoy S. Zimmerman, chairman of the HTC Board of Directors.  "Selling our private wealth management business to Bryn Mawr Trust is another positive step to help us achieve that goal while doing so in a manner that is in the best interests of the group’s private clients."

HTC expects the transition to Bryn Mawr Trust to be seamless and to have minimal impact on clients.  Bryn Mawr Trust is acquiring the entire PWMG Business, including the full team of client services personnel.  In addition, the Group will remain at its current location at West Chocolate Avenue in Hershey.  "Our clients can be assured that following the completion of the sale they will continue to work with the same team and receive the same high quality advisory and fiduciary services that they currently receive," said William F. Christ, President, Hershey Trust Company, PWMG.

"We carefully considered the sale of the PWMG Business and determined that Bryn Mawr Trust was the right buyer," Christ said.  "Bryn Mawr has a long and venerable history in the region and a culture rooted in tradition similar to ours.  Importantly, they share our commitment to customer service.  In addition, Bryn Mawr Trust and its subsidiaries offer a full range of personal and business banking services, and our clients will have access to additional services beyond those we currently offer.  We look forward to working with Bryn Mawr Trust during the coming months to ensure a smooth transition."