Business, Economics and Jobs

Heinz sold to Warren Buffett, Jorge Lemann for $28 billion


H.J. Heinz Co. products are displayed at a grocery store in Chicago, Illinois. The company is being bought by Warren Buffett and Jorge Lemann.


Scott Olson

Heinz has been scooped up by Warren Buffett and his fellow billionaire Jorge Lemann for a cool $28 billion, one of the largest deals in the history of the food industry. 

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and Brazilian 3G Investments will split ownership of the company 50/50, and will assume $4 billion in debt from the food manufacturer, according to Fortune

“Heinz has strong, sustainable growth potential based on high quality standards, continuous innovation, excellent management and great tasting products,” Buffett said of the purchase, which sent share prices skyrocketing to $72.50, up 20 percent from closing price on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported

Lemann, a former tennis star turned entrepreneur, owns buyout company 3G, and has made several high-profile purchases in recent years, including a 10 percent stake in beer company Anheuser-Busch in 2008 and his buyout of Burger King in 2010, Business Insider reported

He is the wealthiest man in Brazil, and the 37th richest in the world. 

Berkshire Hathaway also already owns several food companies, including Dairy Queen, See's Candies, and McLane food distributor, Reuters pointed out.

Buffett joked that as a hamburger lover, he was well-acquainted with Heinz' products. 

"It's our kind of company," Buffett said, according to the Associated Press. "I've sampled it [Heinz ketchup] many times."

The deal is pending approval from the company's board as well as a shareholder vote. 

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