May 04, 2008


Wrigley’s and Mars dance
Mars and The Oracle from Omaha are tuning a Wrigley’s buyout. I was quite impressed with the company operations when I visited the corporate headquarters in 2006. A staple in Chicago (Wrigley’s), this move will make Mars significantly more competitive on the global perspective (they are no. 1), while providing the Wrigley’s company with a suitable parent company for long term growth. It’s a great deal for Wrigley executives and shareholders who will be paid almost 4 times more than its 5.4 billion in sales. Of course, just about anything that Warren Buffet touches turns to gold, so I have high hopes for the future of both these companies. The blog I read of Bob Reed also reminded me of the deal between P and G and Gillette a few years back (I was based in Boston during this period), which has many similar traits. The long and the sort of it: Berkshire Hathaway is going to make out like a bandit in the Short and Long Run. Surprised?

Just a side note: Impeccably dressed, Bill Jr. commands his company from within a gorgeous neoclassical building that bears his name. Flanked on both sides by gorgeous model-esque assistants, he has the profile and panache, rare in a world of cookie cutter executives. I wish him the best as he moves towards a new direction for his company—it certainly looks like the right move for Wrigley’s. Let us see how the shareholders vote.

Korean firms do not bribe…
Perhaps Filipino’s are starting to wizen up to the structurally ineffective system of bribery before action. Paulino Emano has made quite a stink of this 400 million contract to supply materials. Hanjin has been heavily investing in the Philippines and it would be naïve to think that the latest of several “Filipino Glitches” will not make them think twice in investing in our country. Idealistic—perhaps, but it is certainly not economically advisable. Let us see how this plays out in the coming weeks.

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