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Kraft shareholders approve sale of company to Heinz

NORTHFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Kraft shareholders have approved the sale of the company to ketchup maker H.J. Heinz, creating one of the world’s largest food companies with annual revenue of about $28 billion.

Heinz’ owners, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and the Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital engineered the deal, first announced in March, and will control 51 percent of the new Kraft Heinz Co.

The combined company will house brands including Kraft, Heinz, Jell-O, Oscar Mayer, Velveeta and Ore-Ida.

In May Buffett said during an appearance on CNBC that Coca-Cola, Heinz and other companies will respond to people’s desire for healthier food, but predicted demand will remain strong for their traditional products. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is the biggest shareholder in Coca-Cola.

Kraft shareholders will receive stock in the combined company and a special cash dividend of approximately $10 billion, or $16.50 per share. Each share of Kraft will be converted into one share of the new The Kraft Heinz Co.

Kraft Foods Group Inc. is based in Northfield, Illinois, and H.J. Heinz Holding Corp. is based in Pittsburgh.

The transaction will close on Thursday.

The new company will be listed under the ticker symbol “KHC” on the Nasdaq.

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