| 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

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

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. Regional growth
  2. So, where’s the I-70 ‘Welcome to Pennsylvania’ sign on the Pa.-W.Va. border?
  3. The Fiat Chrysler mess: Government’s virus
  4. The wind ruse: A failed policy
  5. Greensburg Tuesday takes
  6. Grabbing guns: Obama overreach?
  7. Council fails again: Shoot straight, Ford City
  8. Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
  9. At the VA: The waiting dead
  10. Mon-Yough Tuesday takes
  11. The Export-Import Bank: The Senate’s shame