What's ahead for Kraft Heinz?
PITTSBURGH — Somewhere in the vicinity of 169,000 Unilever employees were jolted by the news earlier this year that Kraft Heinz Co. had turned up in London with a $143 billion offer to buy their employer.
No, no, said executives at the Anglo-Dutch consumer packaged goods giant, politely ushering the would-be buyers out the door. Thanks, but no thanks.
Kraft Heinz — backed by funding and strategy from the food giant's majority owners 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway — now may be casting its eyes across the aisles of the world's grocery stores, looking for another tasty business that owns great brands but also has identifiable places to cut costs.
General Mills with its 39,000 workers? Hershey and its 16,000 employees? Maybe Danone (99,000 workers), Campbell Soup (18,000), Kellogg (37,000), Procter & Gamble (105,000) or Mars (80,000)?
Shares of Panera Bread (50,800 employees) rose briefly last week after a report that 3G Capital and Warren Buffett might try to buy it out from under an investment firm that announced a plan to acquire the restaurant chain.
Later in the week, Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Pablo Zuanic put out a report saying that PepsiCo (264,000 employees) would be more vulnerable to a Kraft Heinz bid than Mondelez International (90,000 employees), the former Kraft sibling widely seen as a potential acquisition target.
Jobs: There sure are a lot of jobs tied up with the consumer packaged goods companies that stock the world's shelves with condiments, soups, shampoos, cereals, yogurt, pet food and other products used by the masses.