McLean, VA — Mars, Inc. is intending to combine its chocolate business with the operations of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., establishing Mars Wrigley Confectionery, in an effort to deliver greater value to its customers as well as to better address consumer trends and insights in what is increasingly seen as one global industry, the parent company reports.
The new business unit will have approximately 30,000 associates operating in 70 countries with Chicago serving as the global hub. Martin Radvan, current global president for Wrigley and a 30-year Mars, Inc. veteran, will head up the new division. In addition, Jean-Christophe Flatin will continue as president of Mars Global Chocolate, while Casey Keller will become president of Global Wrigley. Keller previously served as a regional president for Wrigley Americas.
“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 says.
Since its 2008 acquisition, Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. has owned a minority stake in Wrigley, which was subject to purchase by Mars over time. As part of this move, Mars reports it’s accelerating its timeline to purchase all of the Omaha-based multinational’s equity in the candymaker.
Grant F. Reid, Mars, Inc. president and CEO, says “We are grateful for the strong and productive partnership we have with Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway. We are 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 combination will be phased in during 2017, Mars reports.