The William Wrigley Jr. Company is a company headquartered in the GIC (Global Innovation Center) in Goose Island, Chicago, Illinois. The company was founded on April 1, 1891, originally selling products such as soap and baking powder. In 1892, William Wrigley, Jr., the company's founder, began packaging chewing gum with each can of baking powder. The chewing gum eventually became more popular than the baking powder itself and Wrigley's reoriented the company to produce the popular chewing gum.
The company currently sells its products in more than 180 countries and districts and maintains 140 factories in various countries and districts, including the United States, Mexico, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, the Philippines, Czech Republic, Germany, South Africa, Argentina, Tanzania, Tunisia, Somalia, North Korea (the only US enterprise there), France, Kenya, China, India, Taiwan, Poland, and Russia.
In 2005, Wrigley purchased the Life Savers and Altoids businesses from Kraft Foods for US$1.5 billion. On January 23, 2007, Wrigley signed a purchase agreement to acquire an 80 percent initial interest in A. Korkunov for $300 million with the remaining 20 percent to be acquired over time. On April 28, 2008, it was announced that Mars, Incorporated would acquire Wrigley for approximately $23 billion. Financing for the transaction was provided by Berkshire Hathaway, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan. Berkshire Hathaway holds a minority equity investment in the Wrigley subsidiary.
The Wrigley Building on Michigan Avenue, one of Chicago's most well known landmarks on the Magnificent Mile, still belongs to the company, but has not been Wrigley's headquarters since 2005.
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