Billionaire investor Warren Buffett believes Berkshire Hathaway overpaid in the merger to create the now-embattled Kraft Heinz in 2015.
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“We paid too much for Kraft,” he told FOX Business’ Liz Claman during an interview ahead of Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.
That’s because shares of Kraft Heinz plummeted this year after the food and beverage retailer disclosed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had launched an investigation into the firm’s accounting policies. It also slashed its quarterly dividend to 40 cents per share annually.
Losses from Kraft Heinz battered Berkshire’s fourth-quarter earnings at the end of February, during which the conglomerate posted a rare $3.02 billion write-down that Buffett said was “almost entirely attributable” to its significant stake in Kraft Heinz.
It’s unclear how Kraft Heinz affected Berkshire’s first-quarter earnings, posted on Saturday, as the company had not filed its 10-K with the SEC, nor had it made its financial statements available to Berkshire.
Berkshire owns 27 percent of the consumer brand company after it teamed up with Brazilian equity firm 3G Capital to combine Kraft Foods with H.J. Heinz, which the company bought in 2013.
It’s not the first time the 88-year-old has admitted he made a mistake with Kraft Heinz -- an anomaly for the savvy investor known as the “Oracle of Omaha.”
In February, Buffett acknowledged during a CNBC interview that Berkshire paid too much for Kraft.
“I was wrong in a couple of ways about Kraft Heinz,” he said at the time.