- The Kraft-Heinz merger received approval Wednesday from Kraft shareholders, a whopping 98% voting "yes" for the transaction. The merger is now complete following market close Thursday, pending customary closing conditions, according to a news release. "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," according to Alex Behring, future chairman of The Kraft Heinz Company and managing partner at 3G Capital, in a news release.
- The "yes" vote means Kraft shareholders will receive stock in Kraft Heinz Co. where each share of Kraft is equivalent to one share of Kraft Heinz. Also, they will receive a special cash dividend of about $10 billion, or $16.50 per share. 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway will own 51% of Kraft Heinz.
- Speculation abounds as to the severity of job losses and cost-cutting measures Kraft would see after the merger, as Heinz did after it was taken over by 3G Capital in 2013.
Before the deal's signing, the executive and management staffs for the combined company have already been put into place, and Heinz is taking over the executive positions at Kraft Heinz.
Within 30 days of the closed deal, seven top Kraft executives will walk, and three more will leave after providing assistance through the transition. Current Heinz CEO Bernardo Hees will take the helm of Kraft Heinz with Heinz's Paulo Basilio named CFO. Kraft executives retained, while few, include Jim Savina, general counsel and corporate secretary, and George Zoghbi, chief operating officer of U.S. commercial business.
This deal, which creates the fifth-largest global food and beverage company and third-largest in North America, could have a significant impact on the food industry. Together, the combined companies will face a generation of consumers that is turning away from its flagship processed foods products.