TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

The Heinz deal: Something's hinky

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

As reports have it, the dealmaking leading to Thursday's announcement that iconic U.S. investor Warren Buffett, though his Berkshire Hathaway company, would team up with increasingly influential Brazilian money man Jorge Paulo Lemann, through his 3G Capital company, to purchase the legendary H.J. Heinz Co. of Pittsburgh for $28 billion was shrouded in secrecy.

The players negotiating the largest acquisition ever in the food industry even went as far as using code names for one another. Mr. Buffet was “Owl.” Mr. Lemann was “Goose.” And the “Heinz” name was not to be uttered; its nom de guerre first was “Penguin” but became “Hawk” when the suitors could not remember the former, The New York Times reports.

Which makes what was happening on Wall Street at the same time all the more troubling: Options trading in Heinz stock soared on Wednesday. So much so that the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an insider trading investigation.

Oh, and just coincidentally, Lemann's 3G already is the subject of an SEC insider trading investigation involving the company's takeover of Burger King. That case centers on a Wells Fargo employee allegedly receiving inside information from a 3G investor. That employee's assets were frozen pending an investigation. No charges have been filed.

The inquiry into the spike in Heinz options trading is no small matter. And given that the circle of people knowing of this pending deal supposedly was small and at the highest levels, more than a shadow could be dogging the Heinz takeover.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. ‘Small business’ Congress? ObamaCare’s ruse
  2. Greensburg Laurels & Lances
  3. Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
  4. Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
  5. Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
  6. NVT fire policy still under attack
  7. No basis to claims
  8. Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
  9. Saturday essay: Waltz of the robins
  10. Greensburg Laurels & Lances
  11. The solar problem: Subsidized inefficiency