Holy Cow!!!!

M&M's candy maker Mars Inc. has teamed up with billionaire Warren Buffett, to buy Wm Wrigley Jr Co., the world's largest chewing gum maker, for $23 billion, creating the world's largest confectionary company, reports Reuters. The deal, which includes Wrigley brands such as Altoids, Extra and Eclipse and Mars’ M&M's, Snickers, Starburst and Twix, gives Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. a minority stake in Wrigley, which will become a separate Mars subsidiary. The combined companies will have a major presence in chocolate, gum and candy. Buffett has other food holdings include a stake in Kraft Foods Inc. Financing for the deal, which could take from six months to a year to complete, comes from Berkshire, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, and at $80 a share, the deal represents a 28 percent premium over Wrigley's closing stock price of $62.45 on Friday. "The combined entity would have significant scale and breadth in a very attractive segment of the global food industry," Andrew Wood, analyst at Sanford Bernstein, said in a research note ahead of the formal announcement of the deal. Speculation is the Mars-Wrigley deal could force Hershey Co. and Cadbury into a deal or merger. The two companies are reported to have talked in the past, though the Hershey Trust, which controls about 78 percent of Hershey's voting shares, has said Pennsylvania law requires it to maintain control of Hershey. While publicly traded, the majority of Wrigley's shares are controlled by the Wrigley family, a Chicago presence whose name is on the Chicago Cubs baseball stadium and a well-known Michigan Avenue landmark building.

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