In 2013 Warren Buffett partnered with 3G Capital–a giant Brazilian private equity firm–to buy H.J. Heinz Co, the iconic American ketchup maker. Ever since then, there’s been a lot of anticipation–as the old Heinz commercial would have it–about what Buffett and 3G would buy together next. At the time Buffett praised his new partner and said he looked forward to working with them again.
Now it looks like Kraft Foods is next on the Buffett/3G Capital shopping list. Rumors of a sale sent Kraft shares soaring in after-hours trading. Kraft shares had been depressed on slow U.S. growth in the traditional packaged foods business. The company hasn’t made a strong play in the booming natural/organic sector and it just faced a recall for manufacturing problems. The Wall Street Journal estimates the Buffett/3G Capital deal would value Kraft Food Groups Inc at $40 billion. A statement early Wednesday says Kraft and Heinz will merge to form one company.