With its shareholders overwhelmingly approving the merger, H.J. Heinz Company moved a step further in relation to 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 company, Berkshire Hathaway,and private Brazilian investment firm, 3G Capital, for $28 billion, including debt.
At a special meeting held in New York, 60% of the shareholders of record as of Mar 18, 2013 cast a vote. 95% of the votes cast were in favor of the merger agreement.
In late March, HNZ had announced early termination of the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period. The transaction now remains subject to some other customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to be closed either by the end of second quarter or in the third quarter of this calendar year.
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. 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 stakes in companies like fast food chain, Burger King Worldwide, Inc .
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 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. 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 reducing expenses aggressively.
Heinz carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Another food company that has been doing well consistently is Flower Foods Inc. (FLO - Snapshot Report) which carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).