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Mars buys Wrigley Co. for almost $23 billion

BY Jenna Duncan

CHICAGO McLean, Va.-based Mars, maker of M&Ms and Snickers candies, has announced that it is purchasing the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. for nearly $23 billion in cash in a deal that could spark even more confectionery mergers.

Wrigley shareholders stand to receive $80 (cash) for each common stock share and Class B common share individually owned. Wrigley said the buyout could take from six to 12 months and, at the finish, Wrigley would become a subsidiary of Mars.

In addition to traditional titles such as Wrigley Spearmint and Juicy Fruit, Wrigley also makes products like Altoids, Eclipse gum and Lifesavers.

Berkshire Hathaway, controlled by billionaire Warren Buffett, will also have a hold of part of the new Wrigley subsidiary; it was announced that Berkshire Hathaway will make minority equity investment in the division.

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Purple expands to Northern Conn. and R.I. with Northeast Beverage

BY Adam Kraemer

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Purple Beverage Co. today announced that Northeast Beverage Co. of Rhode Island has agreed to distribute the company’s signature beverage, Purple, throughout Northern Connecticut and Rhode Island.

“We are excited to partner with Northeast Beverage Company to expand our distribution further through the New England area,” said Ted Farnsworth, founder and chief executive officer of Purple. “As a leading beverage distributor, Northeast Beverage Company has existing relationships with key retail and on-premise accounts across the region. Coupled with our successful launch in other areas of the Northeast and our growing national presence, this additional distribution will bring us closer to our goals of becoming a national brand.”

“Purple has been selling well in other parts of the Northeast and we are excited to add the product to our extensive line of current offerings,” said Kevin O’Brien, general manager of Northeast Beverage Company. “By adding Purple to our roster of well-respected brands, we will help not only the company to expand distribution of its functional beverage, Purple, but will also fill the growing demand for healthful beverages in the areas that we serve.”

Northeast Beverage is Rhode Island’s and Connecticut’s exclusive distributor of Red Bull, as well as being Rhode Island’s exclusive Coors distributor. The company also distributes Snapple and Muscle Milk.

Purple can be found in select GNC stores across the country, as well as in drug stores, health food stores, supermarkets and convenience stores.

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Minute Maid introduces two flavors of enhanced juice drinks

BY Adam Kraemer

HOUSTON Minute Maid announced today the expansion of its line of enhanced juices to include two new juice drinks—Minute Maid Pomegranate Flavored Tea and Minute Maid Pomegranate Lemonade.

The Minute Maid Enhanced Juice and Juice Drink line offers 100 percent juices and juice drinks that are nutritionally enhanced to help meet consumers’ health needs. Along with the other flavors, including Minute Maid Pomegranate Blueberry flavored 100 percent fruit juice blend, in Minute Maid’s offering of pomegranate-flavored enhanced juices and juice drinks the new offerings also contain antioxidant vitamins C and E.

“Consumers love the health benefits that antioxidants provide and the taste of pomegranate, as we’ve seen from the phenomenal success of our Pomegranate Blueberry flavored juice blend,” said Charles Torrey, Minute Maid marketing group director. “With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to enjoy the delicious pomegranate flavor in refreshing, nutritionally enhanced tea and lemonade.”

All Minute Maid Enhanced Juices and Juice Drinks are offered in distinctive 59-fl.oz. PET bottles, with an “easy pour” side grip and clear packaging to showcase the quality of the juice

Both new products are available now in stores nationwide.

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