The William Wrigley Junior Company says it has completes a 46-billion dollar deal to buy some food lines from Kraft that includes a candy factory in Creston.Spokeswoman Kelly McGrail says the acquisition includes the factory in Creston that makes “Trolli” brand gummi-bear candy. McGrail says Wrigley’s strategy is building big, global brands — but this part of the multi-brand deal includes only regional marketing and distribution rights for the Trolli brand, they’re looking for a buyer for it. Wrigley also bought some big brand names in this deal including Altoids and Life Savers. McGrail says while Wrigley will be looking to turn around and sell off the gummi-bear plant in Iowa, for workers there, its operations will continue with “business as usual.” She says they hope to find a buyer by late summer, and also hope that buyer will value the production facility and workers for the brand. “But any future disposition of the facility will be up to them.” McGrail says she wasn’t able to speak to the employees, as today was a day of transition, but for now there will not be any major changes or layoffs.They’ve just told workers of the plans, and adds “We recognize this is a difficult time for folks getting news about changes in their employment and their lives, and we are trying to handle that as sensitively as we possibly can and we hope to make the transition as easy as we can.” Reports indicate the purchase price will be offset by approximately 300-million dollars in cash tax benefits. The net acquisition cost of 1-point-one-six billion dollars represents two-point-four times 2004 sales.
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