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Buffett Buying Heinz - Not As Expensive as Appears

Berkshire Hathaway buying Heinz is unlike any deal Buffett has ever done.  In his past deals he was always a passive owner – he let existing management continue to run the company.  In this case 3G, a private equity firm that has done terrific turnarounds in the past, will be the new management.  They are putting in $1 billion of capital for half of ownership, but also a lot of sweat capital.  On the surface Buffett is paying 20 times earnings, a fairly high multiple even for this high-quality business, but 3G involvement will likely elevate the earnings power of Heinz significantly over time.  So this is a classic Buffett deal in one respect: Buffett is saying, I’m willing to pay a premium for a quality business that has long-term pricing power. (Heinz scores great on both counts).  Buffett is willing to pay a premium for it, but this time the premium is less than it appears on the surface.

Vitaliy Katsenelson

I am the CEO at Investment Management Associates, which is anything but your average investment firm. (Seriously, take a look.)

I wrote two books on investing, which were published by John Wiley & Sons and have been translated into eight languages. (Even in Polish!)

In a brief moment of senility, Forbes magazine called me “the new Benjamin Graham.” (They must have been impressed by the eloquence of the Polish translation.)

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