Heinz completes Kraft purchase, Buffett joins board
July 2 (Reuters) - H.J. Heinz Co on Thursday completed its purchase of Kraft Foods Group Inc, creating the third largest food and beverage company in North America and fifth largest worldwide.
The new company, Kraft Heinz Co, will have roughly $28 billion of annual revenue from brands such as Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Velveeta, Maxwell House, Ore-Ida and Jell-O, as well as Kraft cheese and Heinz ketchup.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc and Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital, which together bought Heinz in 2013, own 51 percent of Kraft Heinz and control six of its 11 board seats, including one for Berkshire chairman Warren Buffett. Alex Behring, 3G's managing partner, is Kraft Heinz's chairman.
Most of Kraft Heinz's upper management comes from Heinz, including Chief Executive Bernardo Hees, 45, a 3G partner.
The 3G firm is known for keeping a close eye on expenses. It has said it may cut $1.5 billion of annual costs at Kraft Heinz by 2017.
Kraft shareholders overwhelmingly approved the merger on Wednesday.
The new company will begin trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker "KHC" on July 6. Kraft shareholders are receiving Kraft Heinz stock and a $10 billion special dividend.
Kraft Heinz said it "remains committed to its hometowns," with dual headquarters in Pittsburgh, where Heinz was based, and the Chicago area. Kraft was based in the Chicago suburb of Northfield, Illinois. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Christian Plumb)
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