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Mars Buying Wrigley For $23 Billion

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.

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