Kraft Foods Group, maker of macaroni-and-cheese products, announced Wednesday that it would merge with H.J. Heinz Co., maker of the ketchup, to become the fifth largest food-and-beverage company in the world and the third largest in the U.S.
The new company, the Kraft Heinz Co., will be co-headquartered in the Chicago and Pittsburgh areas and will have revenues of roughly $28 billion, the companies announced in a statement Wednesday.
The new company will house several iconic brands such as Oscar Meyer meats, Velveeta, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Planters and Philadelphia. Eight of its combined brands will be worth more than $1 billion each, while five will be worth approximately $500 million to $1 billion each.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Brazilian private-equity firm 3G Capital, which co-own Heinz, will invest an additional $10 billion into the merged company, of which current Heinz and Kraft shareholders will collectively own 51 percent and 49 percent respectively. Kraft shareholders will also receive special cash dividends of $16.50 per share.
According to some estimates the merge will help create $1.5 billion a year in savings due to combined efficiencies and shared resources.
Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett said in a statement. “This is my kind of transaction, uniting two world-class organizations and delivering shareholder value. I’m excited by the opportunities for what this new combined organization will achieve.”
Kraft Foods Group is voluntarily recalling approximately 242,000 cases of select code dates and manufacturing codes of the Original flavor of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner – due to the possibility that some boxes may contain small pieces of metal.
Approximately 6.5 million boxes of original flavor Kraft Macaroni & Cheese are involved in the recall.
The recalled product is limited to the 7.25-oz. size of the Original flavor of boxed dinner with the “Best When Used By” dates of September 18, 2015 through October 11, 2015, with the code “C2” directly below the date on each individual box. The “C2” refers to a specific production line on which the affected product was made.
Some of these products have also been packed in multi-pack units that have a range of different code dates and manufacturing codes on the external packaging (box or shrink-wrap), depending on the package configuration (see table).
Recalled product was shipped to customers in the U.S. and several other countries, excluding Canada. The affected dates of this product were sold in only these four configurations:
- 7.25 oz. box, Original flavor
- 3-pack box of those 7.25 oz. boxes Original flavor
- 4-pack shrink-wrap of those 7.25 oz. boxes, Original flavor
- 5-pack shrink-wrap of those 7.25 oz. boxes, Original flavor
No other sizes, varieties or pasta shapes and no other packaging configurations are included in this recall. And no products with manufacturing codes other than “C2” below the code date on the individual box are included in this recall.
Kraft has received eight consumer contacts about this product from the impacted line within this range of code dates and no injuries have been reported. The recalled product was shipped by Kraft to customers nationwide in the U.S. The product was also distributed to Puerto Rico and some Caribbean and South American countries — but not to Canada.
Consumers who purchased this product should not eat it. They should return it to the store where purchased for an exchange or full refund. Consumers also can contact Kraft Foods Consumer Relations at 1-800-816-9432 between 9 am and 6 pm (Eastern) for a full refund.
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