This is the type of company Buffet loves to make part of his empire, companies with extremely strong branding.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is dipping into the ketchup business as part of $23.3 billion deal to buy the Heinz ketchup company.
Shares in H.J. Heinz Co. bounced 20 per cent to $72.45 after the deal, which is the largest ever in the food industry. Heinz, based in Pittsburgh, also makes Classico spaghetti sauces, Ore-Ida potatoes and Smart Ones frozen meals.
'It's our kind of company,' Buffett said in an interview on CNBC, noting its signature ketchup has been around for more than a century. 'I've sampled it many times.'
Secretary of State John Kerry and his Heinz heiress wife Teresa are licking their lips after the multi-billion dollar ketchup deal, which reportedly made them more than $670,000 today. The total value of their Heinz shares now stands at an estimated $4,029,123.
The company was founded by Henry John Heinz and his neighbor L. Clarence Noble in 1869. The pair's first product was grated horseradish, bottled in a clear glass to showcase its purity.
The first ketchup was introduced in 1876; the company says it was the country's first commercial grade ketchup.
Last year, Heinz says it had sales of $11.6 billion, with ketchup and sauces accounting for just under half of that. Given the saturated North American market, the company has increasingly looked overseas for growth. In 2013, emerging markets are expected to account for a quarter of the company's sales.
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