CHICAGO (CN) – Mars announced today that it is buying the Wrigley Jr. Co. for $23 billion. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Corp. will help finance the purchase, which will make Wrigley, the world’s top gum seller, a subsidiary of Mars.
Wrigley shareholders will get $80 for each share of stock – a 28 percent premium over Friday’s closing price.
The deal has been approved by both companies’ boards, news services reported today.
Mars, one of the largest private, family-controlled corporations in the county, is controlled by the Mars family of Virginia. Family patriarch Forrest Mars Sr. invented and began selling M&Ms in 1941.
Mars and several other chocolate giants face class actions in numerous courts accusing them of fixing chocolate prices.