October 7/McLean, Va./PRNewswire-AsiaNet -- Mars Inc. announced it has successfully completed its acquisition of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, following approval of the transaction by Wrigley stockholders on September 25, 2008, and receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals. All shares of Wrigley Common Stock and Class B Common Stock are being purchased for $80 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $23 billion.

"We are excited to welcome Wrigley and its associates to our team," said Paul S. Michaels, president and chief executive officer of Mars Inc.

"Mars and Wrigley share a culture of innovation, quality and integrity, as well as a focus on providing consumers with great-tasting products. The combination of our two strong international businesses, with best-in-class global brands, also creates one of the world's leading confectionery companies."

"Today is the first day in an exciting new chapter for the Wrigley Company," said Bill Wrigley, Jr., executive chairman of Wrigley.

"The similar histories, values and principles shared by Mars and Wrigley provide a strong common foundation on which to build a bright future together. Becoming part of Mars opens up a world of opportunity for the expansion of our brands, the growth of our business, and the development of our associates."

Upon completion of the acquisition, the Wrigley Company becomes a subsidiary of family-owned Mars Inc. and will retain its current headquarters in Chicago. Wrigley will operate as a separate business segment, alongside the existing Mars' business units of Chocolate, Petcare, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience.

As part of the transaction, Mars will transfer its global non-chocolate confectionery sugar brands to the Wrigley subsidiary. This brand portfolio includes Skittles, Starburst, Tunes, Lockets, Rondo, Kenman, Skwinkles and Lucas brands, as well as production facilities in Scoresby, Australia; Porici, Czech Republic; and Monterey, Mexico.

Financing for the transaction was provided by Berkshire Hathaway, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan. Berkshire Hathaway will hold a minority equity investment in the Wrigley subsidiary.

From the October 13, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash