Mars to combine chocolate, Wrigley segments

by Rebekah Schouten
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Mars Wrigley Confectionery brands
Mars Wrigley Confectionery will include 14 brands.

MCLEAN, VA. — Mars, Inc. plans to combine its Mars Chocolate and Wrigley segments to create a new entity: Mars Wrigley Confectionery. The combination is proposed to be phased in during 2017.

“The new segment … will help us serve our customers better, address consumer trends and accelerate growth opportunities in a vibrant global confectionery category,” Mars said. “We’re excited by the opportunities this combination will unlock.”

Mars Wrigley Confectionery will include 14 brands: Snickers, M&M’s, Dove, Galaxy, Maltesers, Twix, Doublemint, Extra, Orbit, 5 Gum, Altoids, Lifesavers, Skittles and Starburst.

Martin Radvan, Mars Wrigley Confectionery
Martin Ravdan, current global president of Wrigley

Martin Ravdan, current global president of Wrigley and a 30-year veteran of Mars, will lead the new segment, which includes 30,000 employees operating in 70 countries. The headquarters for the new Mars Wrigley Confectionery business will be in Chicago.

For the time being, Mars Chocolate and Wrigley will continue to operate separately. Jean-Christophe Flatin will continue as president of Mars Global Chocolate, and Casey Keller, previously regional president of Wrigley Americas, will become president of Global Wrigley.

To create the combination, Mars said it intends to buy investor Warren Buffett’s minority stake in its Wrigley chewing gum business, which will give Mars sole ownership. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. has held a minority stake in Wrigley since 2008, when it helped Mars buy the chewing gum maker.

Gran Reid, Mars
Grant F. Reid, president and c.e.o. of Mars
“We are grateful for the strong and productive partnership we have with Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway,” said Grant F. Reid, president and chief executive officer 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.” 
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