The New York Times recently reported that the pending sale of H. J. Heinz Company could earn its chief executive officer, William R. Johnson, a hefty payday if he is asked to quit.
In case Johnson is let go, he would earn more than $200 million. As part of the payment, Mr. Johnson could get ‘golden parachute” compensations, stock and stock options awards and other benefits.
Last month, Heinz, a leading ketchup maker agreed to be sold to an investment group led by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. (BRK.B - Analyst Report) and private Brazilian investment firm, 3G Capital for $28 billion, including debt.
Johnson has pioneered Heinz for 15 years and played a pivotal role in this landmark transaction for the food industry. Over the years, he has brought Heinz to a strong position where it is consistently delivering solid organic growth, showing continued strong improvement in emerging markets, making robust marketing investments, continuously innovating and saving costs aggressively.
Berkshire Hathaway owns leading businesses across a variety of industries, while 3G Capital is a global investment firm holding stake in companies like fast food chain, Burger King Worldwide, Inc (BKW - Analyst Report). Both Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital are known to invest in iconic businesses and brands and broadening them further.
Heinz’s shareholders will receive $72.50 per share, a 19% premium to Heinz’s all-time high share price. The deal is expected to be closed in the third quarter of this calendar year. Heinz will become a private company after the completion of the acquisition.
Heinz has a robust global portfolio of leading brands, which focuses on three attractive and growing food categories: ketchup and sauces, meals and snacks, and infant/nutrition. The company’s largest and fastest growing product category is ketchup and sauces led by Heinz, the iconic #1 ketchup brand.
Heinz carries a Zacks Rank #3. Another food company that has been doing well consistently is ConAgra Food, Inc (CAG - Analyst Report) – Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).