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Hershey Co. (HSY) - Get The Hershey Company Report has fulfilled its promise to build a line of salty snacks to complement its legacy confectionery and chocolate business. The 124-year-old company announced Thursday, Sept. 13, that it had acquired Pirate Brands, including the Pirate's Booty, Smart Puffs and Original Tings brands from B&G Foods BGS for $420 million, or approximately $360 million net of tax benefits. The Deal identified B&G and its Pirate Brands business as an attractive takeover target in late June. B&G also owns brands including Ms. Dash seasoning, Ortega Mexican foods, Weber Sauces & Seasonings and SnackWell's snack food. A source close to the deal tells me that the transaction was a long time coming for Hershey and Amplify, as Amplify looked at acquiring Pirate's even before it was acquired by Hershey. Amplify of course, was acquired by Hershey in December for $1.6 billion. As Hershey continues to transform, investors have to wonder what a company like Campbell's CPB is plotting or what it can plot with activists hovering. Campbell's acquired Snyder's Lance around the same time Hershey bought Amplify but has seen its stock trade down as much as 30% since that time. Hershey has also fluctuated and dipped, but only as much as 15%.

Voting season is approaching and in Colorado one measure on the ballot this year could have big impacts for U.S. oil companies. Many companies -- including Anadarko Petroleum (APC) - Get Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Report, Noble Energy (NBL) - Get Noble Energy, Inc. Report, EOG Resources Inc. (EOG) - Get EOG Resources Inc. Report and Whiting Petroleum Corp. (WLL) - Get Whiting Petroleum Corporation (New) Report -- have been under pressure given the fact that a measure titled Initiative 97 is set to be voted on by Colorado citizens in the November ballot. Initiative 97 would effectively halt oil and gas development in the state of Colorado, where many of those companies have significant operations, by pushing 85% of non-federal acreage off limits. But not so fast, says at least one analyst quoted by TheStreet resident oil expert Tom Terrarosa. There is no guarantee that the measure will pass and, if it doesn't there could be a pickup in producers with Colorado exposure. "We advocate adding exposure to DJ basin-levered E&Ps given their recent underperformance," wrote Seaport Global Securities analysts.

Markets Today: Stocks closed higher on Thursday, Sept. 13, as investors reacted to a small step forward in trade negotiations between the U.S. and China and slowing inflation data. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin invited top Chinese officials to re-start trade talks amid speculation that Donald Trump may delay imposing planned tariffs on $200 billion worth of China-made goods until after the mid-term elections in November because of pressure from U.S. business leaders.

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