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Mars Chocolate and Wrigley will be combined in 2017. | Bloomberg file photo

Sweet deal coming to Chicago

Mars Chocolate and Wrigley will be combined in 2017 and be headquartered in Chicago.

The combined business, to be called Mars Wrigley Confectionery, will make a range of well-known candies, gums and mints including Snickers, M&M’s, Doublemint, LifeSavers, Skittles and Starburst, parent company Mars Inc. announced Thursday.

Martin Radvan, global president of Wrigley and a Mars veteran, will run the combined business, which will have 30,000 employees in about 70 countries.

The company didn’t say how many employees it will have at its headquarters. Wrigley had about 1,000 Chicago-based employees in 2012 when it moved its headquarters from the Wrigley Building to Goose Island.

As part of the combination, Mars is buying Berkshire Hathaway’s minority stake in Wrigley. Warren Buffett’s company has been in investor since 2008.

“We are grateful for the strong and productive partnership we have with Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway. It is a great relationship that has yielded value on both sides,” Mars CEO Grant F. Reid said in a news release. “We’re equally pleased that sole ownership of Wrigley provides us with an opportunity to rethink how we simplify our Chocolate and Wrigley businesses so that we can bring a more holistic approach to this vibrant category.”

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