Mars chairman explains why the $35 billion chocolate giant will never go public
- Mars Inc makes some of the most popular candies in the world, including Snickers, M&Ms, Milky Way, and Twix. The company also makes Pedigree, Uncle Ben's Rice, and other food brands.
- Mars is a 106-year-old company with more than $35 billion in annual sales.
- Business Insider spoke to Mars chairman Stephen Badger, the great-grandson of founder Franklin Mars, about the company's future.
- Badger said that the family-owned company is "100% committed to staying private."
With more than $35 billion in annual sales, Mars Inc - the company behind brands like Twix, M&Ms, and Skittles - is one of the largest family-owned companies in the world. And it has been around for more than 100 years.
But as the company makes changes and invests in its future, there is one thing that will continue to stay the same for the chocolate giant, Mars chairman Stephen Badger told Business Insider in a recent interview.
"We're 100% committed to staying private," Badger said. "It really does allow us to pursue our own path, our own future, and to really invest in the long term."
Staying private allows the company flexibility that many public companies could only dream of.
"Being private does give us a competitive advantage in that we know who our shareholders are. We could fit them all in quite a small room if we had to. And so the ability of management to interface with the shareholders is very direct. It's very tangible. It's very immediate. And, I think it does give us the capacity to make decisions quickly," Badger said.
For example, Badger said that Mars' decision to buy Wrigley in 2008 happened after a "very quick conversation" among all shareholders. The deal, worth $23 billion, was the biggest acquisition in the company's history.
"We have the luxury, if you will, of not being subject to the quarterly stock market and the impatience that it has and the severity of focus that it puts upon earnings," he said.
Being a private company also allows Mars to think more long-term about its business decisions, Badger said.
"At the end of the day, it's a different environment to be in a family business, in our family business...we do take a long-term view of what we're trying to do and we can make commitments that are not fundamentally, solely based upon the financial reward and return," he said.
Read more about what Mars has planned for the future in Business Insider's full interview with Stephen Badger.
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