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    Wrigley Acquires Confectionery Businesses

    CHICAGO - The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company has signed a purchase agreement with Agrolimen - a privately held Spanish food conglomerate - for certain confectionery businesses of its Joyco Group.

    CHICAGO - The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company has signed a purchase agreement with Agrolimen - a privately held Spanish food conglomerate - for certain confectionery businesses of its Joyco Group.

    The transaction includes Joyco's operations in China, France, India, Italy, Poland, and Spain, as well as Cafosa, its chewing and bubble gum base business. Not part of the transaction are Joyco's operations in the Americas or any of its other joint ventures.

    Key additions to the Wrigley Company's famous stable of brands will include Boomer bubble gum, Pim Pom lollipops, and Solano candy, currently sold in more than 70 countries.

    "The key drivers of acquisitions for the Wrigley Company are strategic fit and the potential for significant value creation," said Bill Wrigley Jr., chairman, president, and c.e.o. "The addition of the strong brands, people, and confectionery expertise from Joyco will increase the long-term success of our business and enhance our ability to weave our brands into the fabric of everyday life around the world."

    Peter Hempstead, s.v.p. - worldwide strategy and new business, added: "Our purchase of Joyco aligns with our key strategic choices by adding strong bubble gum brands to our portfolio and increasing our scale in gum base production; providing additional diversification into both chewy and hard candies, including lollipops; and further expanding our distribution and range of offerings in Europe as well as key development markets, like China and India."

    The acquisition will be a cash transaction totaling U.S.$272 million, funded from the company's cash and existing credit lines. The Joyco acquisition is expected to be accretive to overall company earnings by 2005.

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