Mars set to swallow chewing gum giant Wrigley
NEW YORK - Confectionery giant Mars has agreed to acquire the owner of Wrigley chewing gum for $23bn (£11.5bn).
Mars has formed a pact with Berkshire Hathaway, owned by US business tycoon Warren Buffett, to buy Wm Wrigley. Berkshire will take a minority equity stake in Wrigley, which will become a subsidiary of Mars.
Prior to the news about the deal breaking, Wrigley had a stock market value of around $17.3bn, meaning that the buyers are paying a premium of 33%.
Mars will move its Skittles and Starburst sweets into Wrigley. Bill Wrigley Jr will remain executive chairman of Wrigley, reporting to Mars global president Paul S Michaels.
Michaels said: "When this transaction is completed, we will be proud to welcome Wrigley's associates to our company. The strong cultural heritage of two legendary American companies with a shared commitment to innovation, quality and best-in-class global brands provides a great basis for this combination."
According to the Wall Street Journal, a deal could spark further consolidation in the global confectionery business, for example by forcing chocolate maker Hershey and sweets and soft drinks firm Cadbury Schweppes to merge.
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