PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Heinz has agreed to be acquired by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital as part of a $28 billion deal.
The acquisition raises some questions about what that may mean for employees of the Pittsburgh-based Heinz company.
Heinz Chairman, President and CEO Bill Johnson issued a letter to employees this morning.
Here is the entire letter:
Dear Heinz Colleagues:
The purpose of this letter is to brief you on a historic announcement for the H.J. Heinz Company. This morning we announced that Heinz entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an investment group comprised of Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, global investment firms with stellar reputations for “doing the right thing” for, and with, the businesses they own. At $28 billion, this is the largest acquisition of its type ever in the food industry.
Berkshire Hathaway, led by investor Warren Buffett, owns and invests in leading businesses across a variety of industries, including numerous iconic, world-class food and beverage brands. 3G Capital is a global investment firm focused on long-term value creation, with a particular emphasis on building and expanding great brands such as Burger King and Budweiser. They represent the best of the best in terms of leadership and ownership of global brands that still have room to grow.
This transaction means that everyone who is a shareholder – and many of you are – will receive a cash payment of $72.50 for each share you own. Assuming this transaction is approved by shareholders and regulatory authorities, each shareholder will receive an immediate financial benefit from this change in ownership. While this transaction is not an arrangement we sought, we recognize the tremendous value to shareholders and the long-term benefit it provides for Heinz and its brands. The interest and offer by these highly respected investors are confirmation of the value they see in the Heinz organization and its brands.
Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital have ample capital and other resources to support Heinz’s significant projects and expansion into new categories and markets, and the owners will be able to make decisions that are in the best long-term interests of our brands and our consumers, customers and employees. This new chapter of our company will be filled with many opportunities to expand our global reach while never taking for granted how we got to this point, and where we came from.
Heinz’s product portfolio already enjoys global leadership in many categories and we have #1 or #2 market share positions in more than 50 countries. We now have a great opportunity to build upon this incredible platform and further strengthen our world-leading brands.
Understanding the need to preserve Heinz’s values, heritage and community connections, Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital have pledged to fulfill and continue our philanthropic support of community initiatives and related investments. We appreciate the signal that sends to us regarding their commitment to Heinz’s future and recognition of its past.
In the near term, and through the transaction process, we do not anticipate changes to our organization outside of the ordinary. You will receive regular updates through Town Hall Meetings, e-mail or through your managers, regarding the status of this process through its closing, which is expected to take place sometime this summer.
We will be expected to continue operating in a “business as usual” mode. The important thing to remember is that we must remain focused on our business in every respect.
You have been a part of building the great history and equity of Heinz over the years. Today, that value is being recognized by this historic offer to take Heinz private and to provide us with more opportunity than ever to do what we do best.
I will host a global Town Hall Meeting this morning at 9 a.m. Eastern to discuss this transaction in greater detail. A press release regarding the transaction is also available on HeinzWeb and on www.heinz.com.
Thank you for all that you do to make Heinz a successful global food organization.
Heinz Chairman, President and CEO