Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Co. and Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods Group Inc. announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement to form The Kraft Heinz Co., which would make the new company the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth largest in the world, the companies report. The new combined corporation will be co-headquartered in Pittsburgh and in the Chicago area, they say.
The combined operations are expected to generate annual revenues of about $28 billion, with eight brands exceeding annual incomes of $1 billion and five brands earning between $500 million and $1 billion, the companies say. Kraft shareholders are expected to receive a special cash dividend of $16.50 for each share owned upon closing and stock in the new entity, representing a 49 percent stake. Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital have pledged to invest $10 billion in The Kraft Heinz Co., with existing Heinz shareholders collectively owing 51 percent of the new company.
The companies say they plan to maintain Kraft’s current dividend per share payout and note that the merger will provide the needed synergy opportunities and strong platform to continue future growth in North America and internationally.
Among the beverage brands impacted by the merger are Kraft Foods Group’s Mio, Capri Sun, Kool-Aid, Maxwell House, Gevalia, and many more.