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#208 Pam Mars-Wright $7.41B

Random fact: The first M&M candies were made for the U.S. military in 1941.

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

As of June 20, 2018:
Last change +$56.3M (+0.8%)
YTD change -$975M (-11.6%)
Industry Food & Beverage
Biggest asset Mars Inc.
Citizenship United States
Age 57
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Pam Mars-Wright's net worth of $7.41B 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 is derived from her 8 percent stake in McLean, Virginia-based Mars Inc., a closely held U.S. candy, food and pet products company. The Mars family is the sole shareholder of the company, according to the Orbis company database. The company declined to comment on the breakdown of individual shareholders.

The analysis assumes the fortune was inherited equally by third-generation siblings Jacqueline, John and Forrest Jr. It also assumes the late Forrest Jr.'s stake was split equally among his four children, Victoria, Valerie, Marijke and Pamela, after his death in 2016.

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. 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.

Mars Inc. had revenue of $35 billion in 2016 according to the company's external spokeswoman, Amy Weiss. It's valued using 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 $16.1 billion in total debt as of June 2018, according to Bloomberg data. The billionaire's share of that debt is included as a liability.

Weiss declined to comment on the valuation.

Biography

Birthdate: 1960
Family: Married, No children
Education: Vassar College, Bachelor's Degree

Pamela Mars-Wright was born in 1960, one of four daughters of the late Forrest Mars Jr. and his first wife, Virginia 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.

A graduate of Vassar College, Pamela Mars-Wright joined the family business as an operations supervisor in 1986 after a stint in advertising. Her later roles at Mars Inc. included plant manager of the family's Los Angeles-based petcare company, Kal Kan Foods, manufacturing director at Mars Australia and chairman of the board of the entire company.

Milestones
  • 1911 Great-grandfather Frank C. Mars begins selling buttercream candy.
  • 1960 Pamela Mars is born to Frank Mars Sr. and Virginia Cretella.
  • 1961 Moves to Holland with family after father becomes manager of Dutch factory.
  • 1982 Earns her bachelors degree from Vassar College.
  • 1986 Starts working at the family business as an operations superviser.
  • 1993 Marries Lonnie Wright in Champaign, Illinois.
  • 2008 Mars acquires Wrigley for $23 billion.
  • 2016 Joins the board of beer company, Heineken.