CHICAGO The news of the pending sale of Wrigley to Mars this week has left speculators scanning the market for other independent confectioners who have withstood looming threats of consolidation. But one American candy industry stalwart, Tootsie Roll, seems to have no plans to sell any time soon.
Family-owned and led by 88-year-old chief executive officer Melvin Gordon and his wife, 76-year-old president Ellen Gordon, have been mum with their shareholders on the topic of selling.
Many shareholders, and even he company’s stock analyst, have indicated that they thought a sale such as the transaction that put Wrigley in the hands of Mars would be the best thing for Tootsie Roll. Some believe that leadership by an industry giant might help grow distribution and sales and keep the candy company afloat in a rough economy—especially in overseas markets where growth is projected.
Tootsie Roll reported that its profit fell by 22 percent last year and its first quarter of 2008 was even worse. The company said that it is suffering from the soaring costs of ingredients.
But despite its losses, the company has been moot on the topic of potential buyers and its current leadership appears to be firmly in place.