Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the investment vehicle of multibillionaire Warren Buffett, and 3G Capital Inc. will buy H.J. Heinz Co. (NYSE:HNZ), the maker of Ketchup and other global food brands, in a cash deal worth $28 billion.
Shareholders of Pittsburgh-based Heinz, which was founded in 1869, will receive $72.50 in cash for each share, a 20 percent premium to Heinz's closing price on Wednesday.
The deal will be financed through a combination of cash provided by Berkshire Hathaway and affiliates of 3G Capital, the rollover of existing debt, and debt financing that has been committed by J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo. Berkshire and 3G will both hold 50 percent equity stakes in Heinz.
Officials at 3G Capital approached Buffett about jointly pursuing the deal in early December, Buffett told CNBC on Thursday.