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Burger King's Brazilian owner at heart of all-American Heinz deal

Published on Feb 15, 2013 8:32 AM

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - At the heart of the US$23 billion (S$28.4 billion) buyout of iconic American company H.J. Heinz Co is a low profile Brazilian group founded by a banker-turned-beer magnate.

3G Capital, which teamed up with Mr Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway for the deal, has aggressively eyed US consumer companies over the last several years.

The group's founder, billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann, orchestrated the biggest cash takeover ever when Belgian-Brazilian brewer InBev bought Anheuser-Busch for US$52 billion in 2008. 3G also acquired fast-food retailer Burger King Worldwide in 2010 for around US$3.3 billion.

The firm often pays rich multiples for deals, according to sources familiar with the transactions. It paid roughly 14 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation for Heinz.

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