Mars and Buffett to Buy Wrigley for $23 billion

By Reuters - Print this article Print

The candy industry just got a little sweeter, and smaller, with the buyout of Wrigley by Mars and Berksire Hathaway's Warren Buffett.

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Both Wrigley and Mars have strong Chicago connections. Wrigley was founded in the city in 1891 and Mars currently operates three plants in Illinois, including a long-standing chocolate plant in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park.

The Mars family approached Wrigley with the deal, according to a letter to Wrigley employees from Chairman Bill Wrigley Jr, who would be executive chairman of the stand-alone Wrigley unit after the deal closes.

The deal is designed to help build Wrigley sales, marketing and distribution infrastructure, Bill Wrigley said, adding that Mars' non-chocolate candy brands like Starburst and Skittles will be added to the Wrigley candy portfolio, which includes Altoids and Life Savers.

The deal is subject to Wrigley shareholder approval and is expected to close in the next six to 12 months, Bill Wrigley said.

(Additional reporting by Aarthi Sivaraman in New York and Jessica Hall in Philadelphia; editing by John Wallace)

This article was originally published on 2008-04-28
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