McDonald’s Squeezing Out Heinz Ketchup

English: A bottle of Heinz ketchup

English: A bottle of Heinz ketchup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

McDonald’s is moving to clear Heinz ketchup out of its system.

The restaurateur this week confirmed that it has started the process of moving to other vendors, following the appointment of former Burger King Worldwide CEO Bernardo Hees to run Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Co. Mr. Hees also serves as vice chairman of the board of Miami-based Burger King.

“As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time,” according to a statement from Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s.

The decision appears to put an end to a years-long push by Heinz officials to regain ground with the restaurant giant that operates more than 34,000 locations around the globe, although most American customers buying Big Macs aren’t getting Heinz ketchup with their fries anyway.

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Confidence On Upswing, Mergers Make Comeback

The mega-merger is back.

For the corporate takeover business, the last half-decade was a fallow period.  Wall Street deal makers and chief executives, brought low by the global financial crisis, lacked the confidence to strike the audacious multibillion-dollar acquisitions that had defined previous market booms.

Cycles, however, turn, and in the opening weeks of 2013, merger activity has suddenly roared back to life.  On Thursday, Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate run by Warren E. Buffett, said it had teamed up with Brazilian investors to buy the ketchup maker H. J. Heinz for about $23 billion.  And American Airlines and US Airways agreed to merge in a deal valued at $11 billion.

Those transactions come a week after a planned $24 billion buyout of the computer company Dell by its founder, Michael S. Dell, and private equity backers.  And Liberty Global, the company controlled by the billionaire media magnate John C. Malone, struck a $16 billion deal to buy the British cable business Virgin Media.

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Warren Buffett Part Of Group To Buy Heinz For $23 Billion

NEW YORK — H.J. Heinz Co. has agreed to be acquired by an investment group including billionaire investor Warren Buffett in a deal valued at $23.3 billion.

The ketchup company says it’s the largest deal ever in the food industry.  Heinz shareholders will receive $72.50 in cash for each share of common stock they own.  The transaction value includes the assumption of Heinz’s debt. Based on Heinz’s number of shares outstanding, the deal is worth $23.3 billion excluding debt.

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World’s 100 Richest People Got $241 Billion Richer In 2012

The richest people on the planet got even richer in 2012, adding $241 billion to their collective net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 100 wealthiest individuals.

The aggregate net worth of the world’s top 100 stood at $1.9 trillion at the market close Dec.

Bill Gates in Poland

Bill Gates in Poland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

31, according to the index. Of the people who appeared on the final ranking of 2012, only 16 registered a net loss for the 12-month period.

“Last year was a great one for the world’s billionaires,” said John Catsimatidis, the billionaire owner of Red Apple Group Inc., in an email written poolside on his BlackBerry in the Bahamas.  “In 2013, they will continue looking for investments around the world — and not necessarily in U.S. — that will give them an advantage.”

Amancio Ortega, the Spaniard who founded retailer Inditex, was the year’s biggest gainer.  The 76-year-old tycoon’s fortune increased to $57.5 billion, a gain of $22.2 billion, according to the index, as shares of the retailer that operates the Zara clothing chain rose 66.7%.

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Warren Buffett Eyeing Allentown Morning Call?

President Barack Obama and Warren Buffett in t...

President Barack Obama and Warren Buffett in the Oval Office, July 14, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tribune Co.’s imminent emergence from an epic bankruptcy has fueled a flurry of speculation about the future of one of the country’s largest diversified news media empires.

Weighing in on the matter Thursday was one of the world’s richest men, Warren Buffett.  The Oracle of Omaha, as he is known for his legendary financial prowess, expressed interest in one of Tribune”s newspapers.  Which one?

You are reading it.

Asked if his company, Berkshire Hathaway of Omaha, Neb., might buy The Morning Call, Buffett responded: “Allentown is our kind of place.”

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2011 Forbes Billionaire List

Cropped picture of Carlos Slim, a Mexican busi...

Image via Wikipedia

Even during a global economic downturn, the rich are getting richer.

Three of the top five billionaires are Americans.

Carlos Slim Helu, Chairman of Telemax in Mexico was the world’s richest man this year with a net worth of $74 billion.  His wealth increased from $53.5 billion last year to $74 billion this year!  He holds interests in Saks Fifth Avenue and The New York Times.

Bill Gates (Microsoft) came in at number two this year with a net worth of $54 billion.  Gates has already given $30 billion dollars to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The foundation fights hunger and disease world-wide.

Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) is third on the list with a net worth of $50 billion.  Buffett saw his fortune increase by $3 billion over last year.

Bernard Arnault (Louis Vitton) of France is the wealthiest man in Europe.  His wealth increased $13.5 billion over last year to $41 billion.  Guess those handbags are selling well!

Larry Ellison (Oracle) saw his net wealth jump $11.5 billion to round out the top five at $39.5 billion.  Ellison won the America’s Cup in 2010 after spending $100 million to win the yachting competition.