H.J. Heinz Co. has agreed to be acquired by an investment consortium that includes Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital in a $28 billion deal.

H.J. Heinz, acquisition, Berkshire Hathaway, 3G Capital, food industry, William Johnson, Warren Buffett, Alex Behring

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Heinz to be sold to Berkshire Hathaway, 3G Capital

February 14th, 2013

PITTSBURGH – H.J. Heinz Co. has agreed to be acquired by an investment consortium that includes Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital in a $28 billion deal.

Heinz said Thursday that with the agreement — the biggest ever in the food industry — it will remain based in Pittsburgh as a private company.

The acquisition deal, unanimously approved by the Heinz board, is expected to close in the third quarter, pending approval by Heinz shareholders, regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Under the transaction, Heinz shareholders will get $72.50 in cash for each share of common stock they own, for a total deal value of $28 billion, including the assumption of Heinz's outstanding debt. The company said the per-share price is a 20% premium to the closing share price of $60.48 on Feb. 13 and a 19% premium to the company's all-time-high share price.

"The Heinz brand is one of the most respected brands in the global food industry, and this historic transaction provides tremendous value to Heinz shareholders," stated Heinz chairman, president and chief executive officer William Johnson. "We look forward to partnering with Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, both greatly respected investors, in what will be an exciting new chapter in the history of Heinz.

"With Heinz stock recently at an all-time high and 30 consecutive quarters of organic top-line growth, Heinz is being acquired from a position of strength," Johnson added. "As a private enterprise, Heinz will have an opportunity to drive further growth and advance our commitment to providing consumers across the globe with great-tasting, nutritious and wholesome products."

Heinz's product roster includes ketchup, sauces, meals, soups, snacks, infant nutrition and other food offerings under the brands Heinz, Ore-Ida, Weight Watchers Smart Ones, T.G.I. Friday's snacks and Plasmon.

"Heinz has strong, sustainable growth potential based on high-quality standards, continuous innovation, excellent management and great-tasting products," Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said in a statement. "Their global success is a testament to the power of investing behind strong brand equities and the strength of their management team and processes."

Alex Behring, managing Partner at 3G Capital, commented, "We have great respect for the Heinz brands and the strong business that management and its employees operate around the world. We approached Heinz to explore how we might work together to expand the value of this storied brand. We fully recognize Heinz's value and heritage and look forward to working together with Heinz's employees, suppliers and customers as we invest in and support the company's ongoing global growth efforts."