Heinz That’s a lot of beans to count
Coke. Burgers. Ketchup. These are a few of Warren Buffett’s favourite things, and when he likes something, he buys the whole business. Or a substantial chunk thereof. This time it’s ketchup, in the form of H.J. Heinz Co., which Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is planning on buying for a food industry record of $23.3billion, in a JV with 3G Capital, best known for putting together the Annheuser Busch InBev deal. The deal, according to Heinz, will give it the flexibility to respond to opportunities without the schlep of reports to shareholders baying for their quarterly $$$. Many of these opportunities will lie outside of the US, in markets very much like our own, which now account for 2/3rds of the beany one’s business. Berkshire will serve as financing partner of the business, with 3G doing the day-to-day.
Comment: A big deal. The biggest, actually, in the history of deals involving food and money, since Michael Cross bought the entire stock of cream donuts from the school tuckshop for R20.