Bernardo Hees to be Appointed Chief Executive Officer of H.J. Heinz Company

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Bernardo Hees to be Appointed Chief Executive Officer of H.J. Heinz Company

April 11
10:13 2013
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3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway today announced that Bernardo Hees will become Chief Executive Officer of H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE: HNZ) upon completion of the previously announced acquisition of Heinz by an investment consortium comprised of Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital. 

Mr. Hees (43) has been Chief Executive Officer of Burger King Worldwide, Inc. (BKW) since September 10, 2010. Prior to joining BKW, Mr. Hees was Chief Executive Officer of America Latina Logistica (ALL), Latin America’s largest railroad and logistics company.

Alex Behring, Managing Partner at 3G Capital said, “Bernardo is a proven executive with an unparalleled track record of delivering results. Over the past two and a half years at Burger King, Bernardo grew adjusted EBITDA by 44 percent from $454mm in 2010 to $652mm in 2012 and expanded the company’s adjusted EBITDA margin by 14% from 19% in 2010 to 33% in 2012. His combination of experience, leadership skills and broad understanding of the food industry make him the ideal leader to drive the next chapter in Heinz’s storied history. Bernardo will work closely with Heinz’s current Chairman, President and CEO, Bill Johnson, and the management team to ensure a smooth transition over the coming months.”

Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Hees said, “I am honored to be appointed the next CEO of Heinz, building upon the great success established during Mr. Johnson’s tenure. Heinz is one of the premier food companies in the world, led by the iconic Heinz Ketchup business. I look forward to joining the team and working in close partnership with the Company’s senior management, employees and customers to strengthen the business both domestically and internationally, while continuing to delight consumers with great tasting food products. On a personal level, my family and I are excited to be relocating to Pittsburgh and look forward to calling this great city home.”

Mr. Johnson will remain as Chairman, President and CEO of Heinz until the transaction is complete. 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway expect to discuss with Mr. Johnson his interest in a continuing role with the Company post closure following the shareholder meeting on April 30. Under Mr. Johnson’s leadership, Heinz has successfully reshaped its business to focus on the core brands, categories and geographies where it has leading market positions and the capabilities to drive consistent, profitable growth. Reflecting Mr. Johnson’s strong commitment to delivering sustainable growth for Heinz shareholders, Heinz has become one of the best-performing global companies in the packaged foods industry with a record high market cap and consistently strong operating free cash flow.

Under the terms of the previously announced transaction with 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway, at the closing of the transaction, Heinz shareholders will receive $72.50 in cash for each share of common stock they own, in a transaction valued at $28 billion, including the assumption of Heinz’s outstanding debt. The transaction remains subject to approval by Heinz shareholders, receipt of certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to close late in the second calendar quarter of 2013 or in the third calendar quarter of 2013. Heinz has received antitrust clearance in the United States, Brazil, India, South Korea, Japan and Israel. The Company is waiting for antitrust clearance in China, the European Union, Mexico, South Africa, Russia, and Ukraine. Additionally, Heinz has filed for other regulatory approvals in New Zealand, Ireland and Russia.

More Information About Bernardo Hees

In addition to his position as CEO of BKW, Mr. Hees has been a Director of BKW and its predecessor companies since November 2010. Mr. Hees also serves as a Partner of 3G Capital and a Member of the Executive Board of ALL.

Prior to BKW, Mr. Hees spent 12 years at ALL, where he served as CEO and a member of the Board of Directors from 2005 – 2010. During his tenure as CEO, Mr. Hees led ALL’s overall business growth at a rate of 20 percent per year. Before becoming CEO, Mr. Hees held various positions at ALL in sales, operations and finance. He began his career at ALL in 1998 as a logistics analyst.

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