Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway said Thursday it is teaming up with investment firm 3G Capito to buy ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co. for $23.3 billion. The deal is the largest ever in the food industry and is intended to help the 144-year-old Heinz transform into a global business.
Nearly everyone has dipped a french fry into some Heinz ketchup sometime in their life. But here are some things you might not know about Heinz:
YEAR FOUNDED: 1869.
MAJOR BRANDS: Heinz ketchup and sauces, Ore-Ida french fries, Classico pasta sauce, Bagel Bites mini-pizzas, Lea & Perrin's Worcestershire sauce, Weight Watchers SmartOnes meals.
GLOBAL PRODUCTS: Sampriti ghee, a type of butter, made from buffalo milk (India); Cats Prefer Chef cat food (New Zealand); Plasmon baby food (Italy); ABC Kecap Manis sweet soy sauce (Indonesia).
EMPLOYEES (2012): 32,200.
FACTORIES: 63 (15 in North America).
2012 PROFIT (fiscal year ended April 29, 2012): $923.2 million.
2012 REVENUE: $11.6 billion.
STOCK PRICE: $72.36, up 20 percent after Berkshire Hathaway's announcement.
52-WEEK HIGH: $72.61, hit Thursday.
52-WEEK LOW: $51.51.
AROUND THE WORLD: North America is by far Heinz's biggest market. Heinz's North American and U.S. food service businesses made up nearly 40 percent of sales in 2012. Europe accounted for 29.5 percent and Asia 22 percent. The rest of the world — including South America — made up 4 percent. Heinz relies heavily on Wal-Mart stores, which represented 10 percent of its sales in 2012.
ABOUT THAT KETCHUP: Heinz says it sells 650 million bottles a year. But it wasn't the company's first product. That was horseradish, sold in glass bottles intended to show off its quality. The pickles featured in the company's "57 Varieties" logo also preceded the company's signature ketchup.