Monday, April 28, 2008

Mars buying gum maker Wrigley with financing from Buffett

Snickers and M&Ms candy maker Mars Inc. is buying Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., which makes Juicy Fruit and Doublemint gum and Life Savers, for about $23 billion in cash.

The agreement announced Monday has the potential to transform the globe's confectionary industry and could spawn a series of other combinations.

.....Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will purchase $2.1 billion minority equity interest in the Wrigley subsidiary once the deal is completed. The Omaha, Neb.-based company also offered $4.4 billion of subordinated debt to fund the deal.

"A good time to buy a really great business is when you can do it," Warren Buffett said on CNBC Monday, adding that he understands Mars and Wrigley better than the balance sheets of most major banks.

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