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#175 Marijke Mars $8.33B

Random fact: Mars Inc.'s head office is only two miles away from CIA headquarters.


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). It had revenue of $35 billion in 2016.

As of July 26, 2017:
Last change +$211M (+2.6%)
YTD change +$520M (+6.7%)
Industry Food & Beverage
Biggest asset Mars Inc.
Citizenship United States
Age 51
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Marijke Mars's net worth of $8.33B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

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

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Mars's fortune is derived from her 8 percent stake in McLean, Virginia-based Mars Inc., a closely held U.S. candy, food and pet products company. Her three sisters, aunt and uncle own the rest. Her stake is calculated based on an equal division of her late father, Forrest Mars Jr.'s 33 percent stake. He died in July 2016.

Mars Inc. had revenue of $35 billion in 2016, according to company spokesperson Amy Weiss. It also had $10.25 billion in total debt as of May 2016, according to Bloomberg data.

The business is the world's largest candy maker and best known for confections such as Snickers, Milky Way and Twix. With its purchase of Wrigley in 2008 for $23 billion, it commands more than half of the U.S. chewing-gum market, according to Euromonitor, and sells brands such as Big Red, Doublemint, Eclipse, Juicy Fruit and Orbit. On Oct. 6, 2016, Mars announced plans to buy Berkshire Hathaway's $2.1 billion preferred stake in Wrigley and consolidate its chocolate and candy business. 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 as a whole 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 announced plans to acquire animal-hospital chain, VCA Inc., for $7.7 billion in January 2017. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of the year.

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


Birthdate: 1965
Family: Married, No children
Education: Duke University, Bachelor's Degree

Marijke Mars was born in 1965, one of four daughters of the late Forrest Mars Jr. and his first wife, Virgina Cretella.

Her great-grandfather, Frank Mars, 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 it 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 July 2016.

After earning her undergraduate degree from Duke University, Marijke Mars joined the family business in Los Angeles where she worked as regional manager at one of Mars Inc.'s pet food companies, Kal Kan Foods. She now works at Mars Food, which makes a dozen food brands including Uncle Ben's and Suzi Wan.

  • 1911 Great-grandfather Frank C. Mars begins selling buttercream candy.
  • 1930 Mars begins selling the Snickers bar.
  • 1959 Forrest Mars Sr. moves the headquarters from New Jersey to Washington D.C.
  • 1965 Marijke Mars is born to Frank Mars Jr. and Virginia Cretella.
  • 1987 Earns her undergraduate degree from Duke University.
  • 1991 Marries Stephen Doyle in Washington D.C.
  • 1998 Mars Inc. enters the organic food business with purchase of Seeds of Change.
  • 2008 Mars acquires Wrigley for $23 billion.