Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

#24 John Mars $33.2B

Random fact: Son Frank is president of Mars's research unit, Mars Symbioscience.

Overview

Mars shares ownership of Mars Inc., the world's largest confectioner. The closely held, McLean, Virginia-based company makes candy (M&Ms, Snickers, Milky Way), chewing gum (Juicy Fruit, Orbit), pet chow (Pedigree, Whiskas) and packaged foods (Uncle Ben's, Suzi Wan), and had revenue of $35 billion in 2016.

As of Oct. 17, 2017:
Last change -$91.2M (-0.3%)
YTD change +$1.92B (+6.1%)
Industry Food & Beverage
Biggest asset Mars Inc.
Citizenship United States
Age 81
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

John Mars's net worth of $33.2B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
0%
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
0%
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
0%
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
0
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Mars's fortune derives from his one-third stake in McLean, Virginia-based Mars Inc., a closely held U.S. candy, food and pet products company. His sister and four nieces own the rest. The company had revenue of $35 billion in 2016, according to a company spokesman, Amy Weiss.

The business is the world's largest candy maker and best known for confections such as Snickers, M&Ms, Milky Way, and Twix. With its purchase of Wrigley in 2008 for $23 billion, it commands more than half the U.S. chewing-gum market, according to Euromonitor, and sells such brands as Big Red, Doublemint, Eclipse, Juicy Fruit and Orbit. Its other popular candies include Skittles, Starburst, Life Savers and Altoids. Its food brands include Uncle Ben's and Suzi Wan, and pet food and care brands include Pedigree, Whiskas and Eukanuba.

The company is valued using revenue of $35 billion and the average enterprise value-to-sales and enterprise value-to-Ebitda multiples of three publicly traded peer companies: Hershey, Nestle and Mondelez International.

Mars acquired animal-hospital chain VCA Inc. for $7.6 billion in September 2017. The asset is included as a standalone entity and valued based on the acquisition cost.

Mars Inc has $16.6 billion in total debt as of September 2017, according to Bloomberg data. The billionaire's share of that debt is included as a liability.  

Jonathan Mudd, a spokesman for Mars, declined to comment on the valuation.

Biography

Birthdate: 10/15/1935
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: 1957, Yale University, Bachelor's Degree

Grandfather Frank Mars, who was born in 1882, learned to hand-dip chocolate as a schoolboy. He began making and selling buttercream candies from his home in Tacoma, Washington, in 1911, and moved the business to Minneapolis in 1920, operating under the banner Nougat House. A long string of confectionery blockbusters followed, including Milky Way, Snickers and 3 Musketeers.

After his death in 1934, Frank's only son, Forrest, took over the business and expanded into pet care with the purchase of Chappie canned dog food and, later, into packaged food with the addition of what would become Uncle Ben's rice. Forrest stepped down from day-to-day management of the global food manufacturer in 1969, turning over control to his two sons, John and Forrest Jr., who died in 2016.

Along with sister Jacqueline, the billionaire continues to serve on the company's board. The family has long kept a low profile. John lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with his wife Adrienne Bevis and their three children.

Milestones
  • 1904 Father Forrest Edward Mars is born in Wadena, Minnesota.
  • 1911 Grandfather Frank C. Mars begins selling buttercream candy.
  • 1929 Mars Inc. relocates to Chicago. Forrest Mars joins the business.
  • 1930 Mars begins selling the Snickers bar.
  • 1932 Forrest Mars moves to England to set up his own confectionery.
  • 1935 John Franklyn Mars is born.
  • 1957 Graduates from the Yale School of Engineering.
  • 1969 Takes over management of Mars with Forrest Jr. after father retires.
  • 2008 Mars acquires Wrigley for $23 billion.