Mars Wrigley Confectionery to be phased in next year
Mars said Thursday that the move comes as its has gained full ownership of Wrigley, which it acquired in 2008. Berkshire Hathaway had held a minority stake in Wrigley that was subject to purchase by Mars over time, and Mars said it recently expedited the purchase of the Omaha, Neb.-based conglomerate’s entire equity interest in Wrigley.
Mars Wrigley Confectionery will enable Mars to better respond to consumer trends and insights in what is increasingly seen as one global confectionery category, according to Mars. The combined business unit will include some of the world’s leading brands in chocolate (Snickers, M&M’s, Dove, Twix, Galaxy and Maltesers); gum, mints and candy (Doublemint, Extra, Orbit, 5, Altoids and LifeSavers); and fruity confections (Skittles and Starburst).
“We are grateful for the strong and productive partnership we have with Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway. It is a great relationship that has yielded value on both sides,” Mars Inc. president and chief executive officer Grant Reid said in a statement. “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 combined business unit — which will have about 30,000 employees operating in approximately 70 countries — is expected to be phased in during 2017, Mars said. The global hub for Mars Wrigley Confectionery will be in Chicago, where Wrigley is currently based. The company said that Mars Chocolate and Wrigley will continue to operate separately pending the establishment of the new business unit.
Plans call for 30-year Mars Inc. veteran Martin Radvan, currently global president of Wrigley, to lead Mars Wrigley Confectionery. Mars said Jean-Christophe Flatin will continue as president of Mars Global Chocolate. Casey Keller, regional president of Wrigley Americas, will become Wrigley’s global president.
“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,” Radvan said in a statement.
McLean, Va.-based Mars Inc. has overall sales exceeding $35 billion and more than 80,000 employees in 78 countries. Its other global business units include Mars Food, Mars Drinks, Mars Petcare and Mars Symbioscience.
Brands from those units include Uncle Ben’s, Dolmio, Ebly, Masterfoods, Seeds Of Change and Royco (Mars Food); Alterra Coffee Roasters, The Bright Tea Company, Klix and Flavia (Mars Drinks); Pedigree, Royal Canin, Whiskas, Iams, Eukanuba, Whistle, Banfield Pet Hospital, Pet Partners , Cesar, Sheba, Dreamies, Wisdom Panel, Bluepearl, Greenies and Nutro (Mars Petcare; and Cocoavia (Mars Symbioscience).