Privately-owned Mars Inc. has announced its plan to purchase Chicago-based Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. for more than $22 billion. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and famous financier Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway are financing the acquisition. The deal will make Mars number one in chocolate and chewing gum as the world’s largest confectioner. Wrigley stockholders will receive $80 for each share, a 28% premium to Wrigley’s closing price of $62.45.
“We see this as an historic opportunity to preserve what is special about the Wrigley company in terms of values and culture, while continuing to grow and develop our associates, invest in our brands and drive long-term generational growth,” said Bill Wrigley Jr., chairman of Wrigley’s board.
The buyout will make Wrigley a subsidiary of McLean, Va.-based Mars, keeping its headquarters in Chicago. The deal is expected to close in the next six to 12 months.