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Mars successfully completes acquisition of Wrigley

BY Jenna Duncan

MCLEAN, Va. Mars Inc. Monday announced the completion of its acquition of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. Mars has purchased all shares of Wrigley’s common stock as well as Class B common stock shares for $80 each in cash, a total of about $23 billion, the company said.

“We are excited to welcome Wrigley and its associates to our team,” Paul Michaels, president and chief executive officer of Mars, Inc. said in a press release “Mars and Wrigley share a culture of innovation, quality and integrity, as well as a focus on providing consumers with great-tasting products. The combination of our two strong international businesses, with best-in-class global brands, also creates one of the world’s leading confectionery companies.”

Mars, Inc. said that the Wrigley Company will remain a separate business keeping its headquarters in Chicago, but will operate as a subsidiary of Mars. Mars also plans to move its global non-chocolate confectionery brands to the Wrigley business, including such candies as Skittles, Starburst, Tunes and Rondo, as well as moving production from sites in Czech Republic, Mexico and other countries.

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U.S. shoppers pulling way back on spending

BY Jenna Duncan

NEW YORK The financial crisis is not just hitting Wall Street hard, it is greatly impacting the way Americans spend their money on everyday shopping trips, The New York Times today reported.

According to figures released from corporations, as well as interviews, Americans are spending less on dining out, automobile sales, airfare and other non-essentials. Reports have said that for the first time in about 20 years total sales for the third quarter 2008 will not show growth, but instead a drop by about 3 percent, and a “consumer-driven recession” could be just around the quarter.

Reports have said that consumer spending, which comprises about two-thirds of the U.S. economy, grew overall for the year, but dropped in July and August. The Times reported that as Americans see savings for things like retirement and vacations dwindling, they have lost their buying confidence and spending has become more conservative nationwide.

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R.A.B. Food Group adopts monicker ‘The Manischewitz Company’

BY Jenna Duncan

R.A.B. Food Group Monday announced that it would change its name to The Manischewitz Company. The company has come under new ownership and recently spent millions of dollars in upgrading a capital investment program as well as making upgrades to its production facility in Newark.

“We are excited about the name change, as it signals our move forward as a new organization, yet it reinforces our heritage and core strength in Kosher and the power of the iconic Manischewitz brand,” said company president and chief executive officer, Bruce Bossidy.

The company modernization project was led by The Manishewitz Company’s new vice president of operations, Randall Copeland. “We are very excited about the new team at our Newark facility led by [Copeland],” Bossidy said. “This change combined with our investment in the plant infrastructure is yet another testimony of our relentless efforts to continuously improve our quality, efficiencies and service to our customers.”

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