Mars to combine chocolate business with Wrigley
MCLEAN, Va. -- Mars plans to combine Wrigley with its chocolate business, creating the Mars Wrigley Confectionery.
Mars says the combination will help deliver greater value to customers, and enable the segment to address consumer trends and insights holistically in what is increasingly seen as one global confectionery category.
“Mars Wrigley Confectionery brings together two great businesses, strengthening our ability to create win-win relationships with our customers and improving our opportunities to address dynamic retail and consumer trends together,” said Martin Radvan, the current global president of Wrigley and a 30-year veteran of Mars, Incorporated who will lead the new Mars Wrigley Confectionery.
Since Mars acquired Wrigley in 2008, Berkshire Hathaway has held a minority stake in Wrigley that was subject to purchase by Mars over time. Mars recently accelerated the purchase of Berkshire Hathaway’s entire equity interest in Wrigley.
“We are grateful for the strong and productive partnership we have with Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway," said Grant F. Reid, president and CEO of Mars. "It is a great relationship that has yielded value on both sides. We’re equally pleased that sole ownership of Wrigley provides us with an opportunity to rethink how we simplify our Chocolate and Wrigley businesses so that we can bring a more holistic approach to this vibrant category.”
The Mars Wrigley Confectionery business will have approximately 30,000 Associates operating in about 70 countries. The global hub for the new Mars Wrigley Confectionery will be in Chicago, Illinois. Mars Chocolate and Wrigley will continue to operate separately for the time being. Jean-Christophe Flatin will continue as president, Mars Global Chocolate, and Casey Keller, previously regional president of Wrigley Americas, will become president, Global Wrigley.
The combination is proposed to be phased in during 2017.