One of the most prominent brands in supermarkets has been acquired by a US consortium as part of a huge deal.
Heinz has been purchased for $28 billion (£18 billion) by a group which includes billionaire Warren Buffet. The tycoon's investment consortium which comprises of Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital has bought the tinned-goods company for a fee that will see stockholders receive $72.50 in cash for each share that they own.
It represents a 20 per cent premium to the firm's closing share price which stood at $60.48 on February 13th 2013. It is also a 19 per cent premium to Heinz's biggest-ever rate which was previously recorded.
The agreement has been unanimously approved by the board of directors at Heinz, which is well known in the UK for its range of canned soups and beans along with its array of condiments. Officials expect the deal to be sealed in the third quarter of the year but will be subject to regulatory approval. Mr Buffet has already spoke his delight at being able to secure the agreement adding that the "global success" of Heinz is down to investing in strong brand equities.
William R. Johnson, Heinz chairman, president and chief executive officer, added: "We look forward to partnering with Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, both greatly respected investors, in what will be an exciting new chapter in the history of Heinz. With Heinz stock recently at an all-time high and 30 consecutive quarters of organic topline growth, Heinz is being acquired from a position of strength."
While Heinz has made a significantly profitable deal as part of this acquisition it recently reassured its customer base amidst the horsemeat scandal. The company stated that it was not involved in the production of foods which contained equine DNA.
It added that its meat is from whole muscle cut, where possible, and that it was confident that it had not been affected by the contaminated produce that had been in a number of supermarkets across the UK.