H.J. Heinz Company announced Apr 30, 2013 as the scheduled date for a special shareholder meeting to vote on its pending sale to 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. (BRK.B - Analyst Report).
In mid-Feb 2013, Heinz agreed to be acquired by an investment group led by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway and private Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital for $28 billion, including debt.
At the special meeting to be held in New York, shareholders of record as of Mar 18, 2013 will be eligible to vote. Moreover, HNZ also announced early termination of the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period, thus satisfying an important criterion for closure of the transaction. In addition to shareholders’ approval at the special meeting, the transaction remains subject to some other customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
As per the terms of the pending merger, Heinz’s shareholders will receive $72.50 per share, a 19% premium to its all-time high share price. The transaction is expected to be closed either by second quarter end or in the third quarter of this calendar year. Heinz will become a private company after the completion of the acquisition.
Berkshire Hathaway, led by Warren Buffett, 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 broaden them further. Heinz has a robust global portfolio of leading brands, which focuses on 3 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. The investment firms are acquiring Heinz from a strong position where it is consistently delivering solid organic growth, showing continued and strong improvement in the emerging markets, making robust marketing investments, continuously innovating and saving costs aggressively.
Heinz carries a Zacks Rank #3. Another food company that has been doing well consistently is ConAgra Foods, Inc (CAG - Analyst Report) – Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).