Kraft Foods Group, Inc. shareholders voted Wednesday to approve the sale of the company to H.J. Heinz, creating one of the largest food companies in the world.
According to Kraft, a preliminary count of the votes reveal more than 98 percent of votes cast at were in favor of the transaction, representing more than 69 percent of all outstanding Kraft shares. The transaction will create the third-largest food and beverage company in North America.
“Today's approval to create The Kraft Heinz Company will unite two powerful businesses, deliver incredible shareholder value, and provide a platform for growth both domestically and internationally," said Alex Behring, future chairman of The Kraft Heinz Company and Managing Partner at 3G Capital.
The merger was announced on March 25 and received regulatory approvals in the US and Canada.
Under the terms of the agreement, Heinz shareholders will own a 51 percent stake in the new company while Kraft shareholders will own 49 percent. Kraft shareholders will receive stoke in the combined company and a special cash dividend of $16.50 per share funded by an equity contribution from 3G Capital and Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway.
The combination of these brands creates a global powerhouse—the fifth largest food and beverage company in the world—that joins iconic brands including Heinz, Kraft, Oscar Mayer, Ore-Ida and Philadelphia. According to the companies, together they will have eight $1+ billion brands and five brands between $500 million and $1 billion.
"This truly is a historic moment for our two companies as we combine to become a global food and beverage leader with an unparalleled portfolio of great brands," said John T. Cahill, Kraft Foods Group chairman and CEO and future vice chairman of The Kraft Heinz Company. "It has been a privilege to serve Kraft, and I look forward to continue serving The Kraft Heinz Company on its board of directors."
The new company, which projects revenues of approximately $28 billion, will be co-headquartered out of Pittsburgh and Chicago, the companies’ respective homes.
The transaction will close Thursday.