Wrigley plans meeting to talk about sale to Mars

NEW YORK Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., maker of Eclipse, Orbit and Altoids gum and breathmints, yesterday announced the date for a shareholder meeting to reach an approval for its sale to Mars Inc. Wrigley’s shareholders will meet Sept. 25, hometown of Chicago, the company stated in filings submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Approval must be reached by at least two-thirds of those owning stock.

Wrigley has agreed to sell its business to Mars for $23 billion, or $80 per share. In addition, Wrigley must agree to pay Mars a one-time break-up fee of $621 million to $690 million if the deal fails to pass, according to the language in the SEC filing. Mars will have to pay Wrigley $1 billion if anything happens on Mars’ side to cause the deal to fail.

Mars will then absorb Wrigley’s brands to form the largest confection company in the world, bumping Britain’s Cadbury PLC to second place. The Mars/Wrigley deal is being financed in part by billionaire Warren Buffett.

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