Food giant Heinz says it has agreed to be acquired by an investment consortium including billionaire investor Warren Buffett in a deal valued at $28bn.
The ketchup company says Heinz shareholders will receive $72.50 cash for each share of common stock they own. The deal value includes the assumption of Heinz’s debt. Based on Heinz’s number of shares outstanding, the deal is worth $23.3bn excluding debt.
“It’s our kind of company,” Mr Buffett said in an interview on CNBC, noting its signature ketchup has been around for more than a century. “I’ve sampled it many times.”
Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, the investment firm which also bought Burger King in 2010, say Heinz will keep its headquarters in Pittsburgh.
Given the saturated North American market, Heinz has increasingly looked to emerging markets for growth. In its last quarter, the company said emerging markets made up 23 % of sales.
The per-share price for the deal represents a 20% premium to Heinz’s closing price of $60.48 yesterday.
Mr Buffett said Berkshire will still have room to make more acquisitions, noting that the firm’s businesses continually replenish its cash supply.
“Any time we see a deal is attractive and it’s our kind of business and we’ve got the money, I’m ready to go,” he said.