Warren Buffet buys Heinz

Unite the Union is calling for assurances over the future of Heinz' 2,500 UK employees. Image courtesy of Nick Harris 1

Billionaire Warren Buffet announced that he will take over food giant Heinz with assistance from private equity firm 3G Capital.

The deal, led by Warren Buffet’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, is worth £18bn.

The announcement of Mr Buffet’s take over caused Heinz shares to soar on the New York stock exchange yesterday.

Although the deal still needs to be approved by shareholders, Heinz board is supportive of it. Heinz chairman, president and chief executive William Johnson said: “The Heinz brand is one of the most respected brands in the global food industry and this historic transaction provides tremendous value to Heinz shareholders.”

Heinz’ key manufacturing facility in the UK is located near Wigan. The site is the largest food manufacturing plant in Europe and the largest site globally for Heinz itself.

The factory turns out over 1 billon canned products every year, including the company’s famous baked beans.

The UK is also a centre for innovation and R&D for Heinz due to the importance of the UK market in terms of brand strength.

Heinz employs around 2,500 people in the UK.

Unite, Britain’s biggest union, has called for a meeting with Heinz for assurances over jobs in the UK.