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US food businesses Heinz and Kraft merge

25 March 2015 by
US food businesses Heinz and Kraft merge

US food business Heinz is to merge with Kraft Foods Group, creating the third-largest food and beverage company in the US.

The deal between the two firms was engineered by private equity firm 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway, the company owned by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, according to the BBC.

Current Heinz shareholders will own 51% of the company, with Kraft shareholders taking a 49% stake.

Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway chief executive, said: "I am delighted to play a part in bringing these two winning companies and their iconic brands together.

"This is my kind of transaction, uniting two world-class organisations and delivering shareholder value. I'm excited by the opportunities for what this new combined organisation will achieve."

The new company will be called the Kraft Heinz Company and will have its headquarters in the Pittsburgh and Chicago area.

It is expected to be the fifth largest food and drink firm in the world and has brands including Philadelphia, HP Sauce and Lea & Perrins.

In 2010, Kraft took over chocolate maker Cadbury but spun it off in 2012 as part of global snacks business Mondelez.

Alex Behring, chairman of Heinz and the managing partner of 3G Capital, will become the chairman of the new company. John Cahill, Kraft chairman and chief executive, will be vice-chairman. Bernardo Hees, the chief executive of Heinz will be chief executive of the new company.

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