Candy Companies Form Imagination Confections

Chicago, IL - September 10, 2003: American Licorice Company, Ferrara Pan Candy Company, New England Confectionery Company (Necco), R. M. Palmer Company and Spangler Candy Company announced today that Imagination Confections LLC has entered into a long-term licensing agreement with Disney Consumer Products to produce a complete line of Disney candy.

The five candy companies will operate Imagination Confections, LLC as a sales and marketing company, marketing and selling Disney confectionery products. The licensing agreement covers North America and includes substantially all ready-to-eat chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery items for the food, drug, mass, convenience store, military, vending, specialty, theater, video store, dollar store and club classes of trade.

"This new venture again follows our business model of marrying beloved Disney characters with long-established, best in class companies like those that make up Imagination Confections," said Andy Mooney, chairman, Disney Consumer Products Worldwide. "We are going to have a significant presence in the treat aisle and offer families special Disney confection items to share for the holidays— or everyday." The new seasonal offerings will hit stores just in time for Easter 2004. When fully implemented, programs will also include back-to-school, Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, spring/summer and everyday merchandise.

All long-established private confectionery companies, American Licorice (1914), Ferrara Pan (1908), Necco (1847), R.M. Palmer (1948) and Spangler (1906) share a history of independence and leadership in the candy industry. Together their products cover the full range of confectionery items. The new Disney products will be primarily manufactured at the group's facilities, which consist of 13 plants in the US, Canada and Mexico employing in excess of 3,000 people. The new venture will bring to North American consumers candy treats of exceptional value and quality. The marriage of wholesome Disney characters with quality long-established confection treats will leverage the icon Disney brand and long-established candy favorites.

Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is the division of The Walt Disney Company that extends the Disney brand to merchandise ranging from apparel, toys, home decor and books to interactive games, food and beverages, electronics and fine art. This is accomplished through the work of the division's various lines of business: Disney Toys, Disney Softlines, Disney Hardlines, Disney Publishing, Buena Vista Games and Baby Einstein. The Disney Store, which debuted in 1987, also falls under DCP, carrying mostly exclusive, non-licensed merchandise.

For more information contact: Imagination Confections LLC Sal Ferrara 708-366-0500
Disney Consumer Products Maria Gladowski 818-567-5389

Contact: Diana Moore Eschhofen, Marketing & Public Relations Manager
Phone: (888) 636-4221

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