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Stocks B / Berkshire Hathaway


Subject:  Re: Rethinking Heinz addition Date:  2/23/2013  1:20 PM
Author:  mungofitch Number:  199024 of 236381

The key is that the likely strategic investment play in this case is a
restructuring of Heinz's operations and financial structure, a skill set
arguably more greatly possessed by 3G Capital than BRK. BRK's main value-add is,
in turn, their deep pockets and the legitimacy of the deal being associated with BRK and Mr. Buffet.

Phrased another way, one might view it as a deal that only made sense
if some changes were made at Heinz. Berkshire doesn't have a management
team to do so, they don't do deals that require supplying management.

I'm not entirely sure this is really true, Heinz seems pretty good to me.
But it is a consistent interpretation.
Contrast it with this deal: Berkshire raises money with cheap bonds
as it did with BNSF and simply buys Heinz for $72.50 a share, financing
(say) 40% of the purchase price with cheap debt.
(Pure LBO but with debt on the buyer, not the target)
This isn't really Berkshire's way, to juice returns with recourse leverage.
The most interesting insight from this line of thinking is how unusual
the BNSF deal was in that respect. They key there is probably that
there was no real desire to use the leverage to boost returns, as it's
all going to get paid off pretty quickly. It's more of a long bridge.

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