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Tuesday, July 2, 1991 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Brach's Plans To Buy Vernell's Candies

BELLEVUE

After weeks of rumors that it might be closing its doors, Vernell's Fine Candies confirmed that it plans to sell the better part of its business to one of the largest candymakers in the country.

The buyer, E. J. Brach Corp. of Chicago, said that Vernell's production operations will be "consolidated into Brach's factories."

Brach's three factories are located in Illinois and Iowa.

Suppliers to the privately held Bellevue company said the plant's closure has been rumored because Vernell's had not purchased raw materials for two months.

They said Vernell's had reduced production to a minimum and was not planning to fill orders for Halloween, one of the busiest periods of the year for candy companies.

Vernell's president Ray Kiely would not discuss the sale or the company's condition beyond releasing a statement confirming the Brach deal.

He would not reveal financial details of the deal with Brach, confirm the rumors of a production slowdown or discuss the future of the workers at the Eastside plant. He referred all calls to a Brach spokesperson, who did not return calls.

Brach president Peter Rogers said in a statement that Brach will operate Vernell's as a separate entity and retain Vernell's

name.

Copyright (c) 1991 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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