OT Mars

From the Lex column in FT:

Mars is a 111 year old private family-owned company with 140,000 employees in 80 countries. It is well known for its candy but also has large pet food and veterinary businesses. Its annual revenue of $45 billion exceeds Coke’s $38 billion. Being private, not much is known about its profitability.

Recent research by Credit Suisse revealed that family-controlled listed companies have outperformed broader equity markets by 350 bp since 2006.


What a great ending it would be if Buffett could swing a friendly deal with Mars family to acquire a stake. If its enterprise value is similar to Coke’s at $300 billion it may be too big to swallow whole with excess cash available. But maybe a deal like Mid American could be worked out.


I imagine that Buffett and the Mars family have well-understood “connections”, all of course very private.

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Buffett had helped finance Mars’s acquisition of Wrigley.


Berkshire Hathaway helped Mars buy Wrigley for about $23 billion in 2008. It was a classic deal for the billionaire, who has traditionally favored acquisitions involving well-known names and strongly performing businesses.

But there was a lucrative element in the way Mr. Buffett participated in the transaction. As part of the arrangement, Berkshire received preferred shares worth about $2.1 billion, which paid a 5 percent annual dividend, and $4.4 billion worth of bonds that carried a hefty 11.45 percent interest rate.

What a great ending it would be if Buffett could swing a friendly deal with Mars family to acquire a stake

I think food brands are not a great choice right now - lots of headwinds with distribution issues and competing with in-house brands IMO. Kraft/Heinz proved how challenging this market can be.

FYI: Kellogg is splitting up as well.



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I have always thought if there was one privately held company Mr.Buffett coveted above all others it was Mars. I’m guessing the family just never wanted to sell and who would blame them.


the brothers have had numerous opportunities to sell to Buffett or even partner with him… I know he’d be happy to add them to the portfolio if they were amenable but they appear happy to keep on keeping on…

Yes, i could see this in time! With each generation it seems more challenging to keep everyone happy financially and otherwise.

Btw, it is pretty cool when you think of the 50 years that we have owned See’s and how much the 2 billion in profits sent to Omaha since acquisition has seeded our enormous growth. Superb vision by the WEB & CCM and only a $25M purchase price- Amazing!