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Chocolate maker Hershey Co. has confirmed that its factory in Smiths Falls, Ont., is slated to close. More than 500 employees had been warned earlier this month that the company would likely close the 44-year-old factory. The exact timing of the closure will depend on business conditions, but the plant is expected to begin a phased shutdown later this year with some operations continuing through 2008, company spokesman Kirk Saville said yesterday. Premier Dalton McGuinty said he spoke to Hershey CEO Richard Lenny yesterday to see if there is any way for the province to help the company keep the plant running. "I asked if there's anything that we might do at this point in time," Mr. McGuinty said from Ottawa. "They just don't seem to be particularly receptive to that." HSY (NYSE) fell 40 cents (U.S.) to $53.21.

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