3G Capital and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway agreed to a $28 billion deal to buy ketchup maker Heinz, calling it the largest food acquisition in history. Here is a collection of the biggest deals in the food and beverage industries.
Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch was the largest brewing company in the U.S. when it agreed in 2008 to a $49.9 billion takeover by InBev, a multinational beverage company based in Belgium. A year later the merged company, called Anheuser-Busch InBev, sold the Busch Entertainment theme park business to The Blackstone Group for $2.7 billion.
RJR Nabisco, a tobacco and food giant, was the subject of a takeover battle that began when the company’s management announced it would take RJR Nabisco private. But major private equity firms jumped at the chance to buy the company, and KKR ultimately agreed to purchase it for $24.88 billion in 1988.
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
Mars, one of the largest privately held companies in the U.S., partnered with Berkshire Hathaway to buy chewing gum maker Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company for $21.9 billion. The deal was announced in 2008.
Kraft Foods made a $16.2 billion unsolicited bid for Cadbury, the second largest confectionary company behind Mars Inc., in September 2009. The offer was rejected, but the two companies agreed to an $18.9 billion deal in January 2010. Cadbury’s parent company is now Mondelez International, a U.S. company that was formed last year when Kraft Foods took the name and spun off its grocery business to create Kraft Foods Group.
An investment group that included Supervalu, Cerberus Capital Management and the former CVS Corp. agreed in 2006 to buy grocery store and pharmacy operator Albertson’s for $9.64 billion.
Food-service company Aramark underwent a management-led buyout, a $6.1 billion deal that was announced in 2006. Andrew Kerin, pictured, Senior Vice President of Health Care and Education for Aramark, talks during a conference that year.
Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas
PepsiCo announced in April 2009 that it agreed to purchase its two largest independent bottlers. Pepsi Bottling Group was purchased for $5.28 billion, while PepsiAmericas garnered a lesser sum of $1.99 billion.
More than a year and a half after first bidding for it, ConAgra announced in November 2012 that it completed negotiations to purchase private-label food maker Ralcorp. The $4.95 billion takeover was completed in late January 2013.
The Coca-Cola Co. purchased Energy Brands for $4.1 billion in May 2007. Energy Brands, which makes Glacéau and Vitaminwater products, is operated as a private subsidiary of Coca-Cola.
Del Monte Foods
In November 2010, KKR, Vestar Capital Partners and Centerview Partners Holdings said it agreed to buy Del Monte Foods for $3.68 billion. Del Monte Foods includes food and pet products brands such as Del Monte, S&W, College Inn, Meow Mix and Kibbles 'n Bits.
Fast-food chain Burger King went private in a $3.27 billion deal with 3G Capital, which agreed in 2010 to purchase TPG Capital’s interest in the company. TPG Capital bought the company in 2002 for $1.5 billion.
From the $28 billion Heinz buyout, to KKR's legendary battle to snag RJR Nabisco, the food industry is no stranger to deal-making.