Billionaire investor Warren Buffet is to buy Heinz, the food company renowned for its ketchup and baked beans.
Buffett, one of America's richest men, will acquire the Pittsburgh brand under his Berkshire Hathaway company along with private equity firm 3G Capital.
The $28 billion (£15bn) deal was described as a "historic" transaction by Heinz and will see the company go private.
Warren Buffet is one of America's richest men
Heinz shareholders will receive $72.50 (£46.74) in cash for each share of common stock they own and Buffet has said he will not offer "a penny more" reported The Financial Times. The price offered is 20% more than company's record share price. Berkshire Hathaway is putting up $12-13bn (£7.7bn to £8.3bn) in cash for the deal.
"The Heinz brand is one of the most respected brands in the global food industry and this historic transaction provides tremendous value to Heinz shareholders,” said Heinz chairman, president and chief executive William R Johnson. “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."
The transaction will be financed through a combination of cash provided by Berkshire Hathaway and affiliates of 3G Capital, rollover of existing debt, as well as debt financing that has been committed by JP Morgan and Wells Fargo.
Heinz said it agreed to the takeover in part because Buffet and 3G understood the need "to preserve Heinz's values, heritage and community connections".
Pittsburgh will remain the global headquarters of HJ Heinz, and will continue to "fulfil and continue its philanthropic support of community initiatives and related investments".
Heinz was founded in Pittsburgh at the beginning of the 19th Century.
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