Client Highlight: Kraft Foods Group
100 days: A short time to reshape an industry. With Sullivan & Cromwell’s advice, Kraft Foods Group did just that, merging with H.J. Heinz Holding Corporation in a $55 billion stock-and-cash deal.
Upon completion, Kraft Heinz became the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest in the world.
Named as a 2016 “Deal of the Year” by The American Lawyer, the S&C team pulled off the transaction—one of 2015’s largest—with astonishing speed. The speed was even more remarkable given the complexity of the merger, through which Kraft shareholders received one share in the combined company in a one-to-one trade for each Kraft share they held, along with a cash dividend of $16.50 per share. The dividend, funded by Heinz owners Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, totaled $10 billion.
The deal involved Heinz’s re-emergence as a public company, requiring coordination with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in addition to the standard antitrust and regulatory approvals for the deal.
Including two weeks of around-the-clock negotiations, the entire transaction was pulled off in fewer than 100 days—almost a third of the time normally required for deals of a similar size.