Mars gets green flag from EU to buy Wrigley

BRUSSELS The European Commission (executive branch of the European Union) yesterday announced that it will not bar McLean, Va.-based Mars Inc. from acquiring chewing gum giant Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. The buyout will cost Mars $23 billion.

In a statement released to the press, the Commission said, “There is no overlap in the parties’ core confectionery activities (chocolate and gum).” The executive brand of the EU reportedly also stated that “although both parties are active in sugar confectionery, the limited market shares do not give rise to competition concerns.”

According to reports, the Mars deal was supported by financier Warren Buffett. Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, stands to gain a stake of more than 10 percent in Wrigley, which will become a separate subsidiary of Mars. Buffett also owns a stake in Kraft Inc.

The merger will create the world’s largest confectionery company, reports said.

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