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PET RECEIVES FAVORABLE RULING

 ST. LOUIS, May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Pet Inc. (NYSE: PT) said today that it has received a favorable ruling from the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia regarding the sale of certain assets of its Whitman's Chocolates Division to Whitman's Candies Inc., an affiliate of Russell Stover Candies Inc. After a hearing April 26 and 27, the judge denied the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's request for a preliminary injunction regarding the transaction. As a result, Pet is continuing its plans to close the plant in Philadelphia and to dispose of the remaining assets of the business.
 The lawsuit filed against Pet, Russell Stover Candies and Whitman's Candies by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had alleged that Pet's sale of the trademarks and equipment of the Whitman's Chocolates Division to Whitman's Candies would have resulted in a substantial lessening of competition in the gift boxed chocolates market. The sale transaction was completed March 5.
 In response to the ruling, Pet spokesperson, Beatrice Miller, said, "We recognize that Philadelphia has been particularly hard hit recently with job losses resulting from companies closing or leaving the area. It's extremely unfortunate when these changes occur. Pet's decision to sell Whitman's assets came after eight months of actively seeking a buyer for the business using an internationally-known investment banking firm, and after discussions with more than 160 parties who expressed initial interest. Unfortunately, no one offered to buy the business intact, so the sale of assets was our only alternative to continuing to operate a business that was losing money.
 "We regret the hardship However, as a public company, Pet has a responsibility to its shareholders and to all its employees -- including those working at four other plants in Pennsylvania -- to make business decisions that ensure the strength and viability of the company for the long term," Miller said.
 Pet is a leading packaged food company, based in St. Louis.
 -0- 5/6/93
 /CONTACT: Beatrice E. Miller of Pet, 314-622-6672/
 (PT)


CO: Pet Inc.; Whitman's Candies Inc.; Russell Stover Candies Inc. ST: Missouri, Pennsylvania IN: FOD SU:

AC-MC -- DV008 -- 5690 05/06/93 17:17 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 6, 1993
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