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In a sweet deal, Mars deals for Wrigley

M&M’s candy maker Mars Inc teamed with billionaire Warren Buffett to pay $23 billion to pick up Wm Wrigley Jr. Co. to create the world’s largest confectionary company.

While Bill Wrigley Jr., a major shareholder in Wrigley, was not looking to sell, he said during a press conference, “The Mars family approached us with a compelling all-cash offer. We must respect the past, but at all times do what is right for the future.”

The deal brings together two companies with similarities and a complementary portfolio of products, with Mars focusing on chocolate and Wrigley chewing gum. Both companies have strong roots in Chicago (Mars later moved to Virginia) and remain closely aligned with the families that bear their names.

Under the terms of the deal, Wrigley will remain a stand-alone company “with a high degree of autonomy” under the umbrella of Mars brands.

Funding for the transaction includes approximately $11 billion from Mars, a $5.7 billion committed senior debt facility from Goldman Sachs, and $4.4 billion of subordinated debt from Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

The deal, which will give Berkshire Hathaway a minority stake in Wrigley, should close within a year.

Source:  1 May 2008, In Tech Home,  In a sweet deal, Mars deals for Wrigley, Staff at Tech Home, All contents copyright of ISA © 1995-2008 All rights reserved.

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