Mars, Incorporated is combining its Chocolate and Wrigley segments to create Mars Wrigley Confectionery, which will be based in Chicago.
According to company officials, 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, Incorporated also operates Petcare, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience businesses.
The move will unite several leading industry brands—including Snickers, M&M'S, Dove, Galaxy, Maltesers, Twix, Doublemint, Extra, Orbit, 5, Altoids, Lifesavers, Skittles and Starburst—into one corporate division.
Martin Radvan, current global president of Wrigley and a 30-year Mars, Incorporated veteran will lead the new Mars Wrigley Confectionery. "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."
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.
The combined divisions will have approximately 30,000 associates operating in about 70 countries. For the time being, Mars Chocolate and Wrigley will continue to operate separately. Jean-Christophe Flatin will continue as president of Mars Global Chocolate, while Casey Keller, previously regional president of Wrigley Americas, will become president, Global Wrigley. The combination is proposed to be phased in during 2017.
"We are grateful for the strong and productive partnership we have with Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway," says Grant F. Reid, office of the president and CEO of Mars, Incorporated, based in McLean, Va. "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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