Kraft-Heinz merger gets thumbs up from Kraft shareholders

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Kraft-Heinz merger gets thumbs up from Kraft shareholders

Related tags: North america, Kraft foods, Kraft heinz, Kraft

The Kraft-Heinz merger got the thumbs up from Kraft shareholders this morning, with 98% voting ‘YES’ to the deal.

The merger will complete following the close of the markets Thursday (July 2), pending customary closing conditions, according to a statement from Heinz, whose private equity owners 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway will own 51% of the new company:

"Today's approval to create The Kraft Heinz Company will unite two powerful businesses, deliver incredible shareholder value, and provide a platform for growth both domestically and internationally.”

WHAT WILL THE NEW COMPANY BE CALLED?​ The Kraft Heinz Company.

HOW BIG WILL THE NEW COMPANY BE​? The combined entity will leapfrog Coca-Cola to become the third largest food and beverage firm in North America behind PepsiCo and Nestlé with $22bn+ in North American sales, and the fifth largest food and beverage company in the world with $29bn+ in global sales.

GEOGRAPHICAL FOOTPRINT​: While the vast majority of Kraft’s sales are in North America, 61% of Heinz’s sales are generated from outside this region, and 25% are from emerging markets, providing opportunities to take Kraft brands into new markets.

SYNERGIES​: Bosses say they expect to realize $1.5bn in annual cost savings by the end of 2017.

BRANDS​: The combined entity will include Heinz​ brands including: Heinz Ketchup, Classico, Ore-Ida, TGI Friday’s, Weight Watchers, Heinz Beanz, and Smart Ones; plus Kraft​ brands including Kraft, Velveeta, Jell-O, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Cool Whip, Kool-Aid, Capri-Sun, MiO, Planter’s, and Lunchables.

STRUCTURE​: The new company will retain offices in Chicago and Pittsburgh.

MANAGEMENT​: Heinz CEO Bernardo Hees will be CEO of the combined company, while Kraft CEO and chairman John Cahill will be vice chairman. Heinz's Paulo Basilio is to be CFO, while Heinz execs will also take over most of the senior leadership positions.  For full details of the management changes, click HERE​. 

The merger was announced on March 25, 2015 and received regulatory approvals in the U.S. and Canada.  

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