Buffet and 3G Capital snap up Heinz for $23bn

The global food giant Heinz, which famously makes beans and tomato sauce, has been bought for $23bn (€17.2bn) by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Jorge Paulo Lemann’s 3G Capital

The buyers will pay $72.50 a share, compared with Wednesday’s closing price of $60.48, according to a statement yesterday.

Berkshire will spend about $12bn to $13bn on the deal for the maker of condiments, Buffett told CNBC.

The deal will also be financed with cash from 3G affiliates, plus the rollover of existing debt, and is valued at about $28bn, including debt, according to the statement.

Buffett has been seeking deals after the cash pile at Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire climbed to more than $45bn. He has previously wagered on consumer products through equity investments in Coca-Cola and he helped finance Mars’s purchase of chewing gum maker Wrigley.

Lemann is worth about $19bn based on holdings in Anheuser-Busch and Burger King Worldwide, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

“Heinz has strong, sustainable growth potential based on high-quality standards, continuous innovation, excellent management and great tasting products,” Buffett, 82, said in the statement.

CEO of Heinz, Bill Johnson, who’s been at the helm since 1998, may reap about $100m from the company’sbuyout.

Johnson, 64, held 1.38m Heinz shares as of Dec 17. His total compensation in the fiscal year ended in March was $16.2m, including $1.3m of salary.

— Bloomberg

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