Kraft Heinz CEO doesn’t want long-term M&A regrets amid Campbell Soup speculation

  • Bernando Vierira Hees, CEO of Kraft Heinz, said during its second quarter earnings call about acquisitions, “And I think also important to say, we don’t do something to be happy for a quarter and then be regretting for the long-term, to be apologizing for the next couple of years.”
  • Kraft Heinz passed on the chance to bid on Pinnacle Foods, sources told CNBC, which could signal that any potential interest in Campbell is waning.
  • Hees also told analysts that its framework for acquisitions remains unchanged.

Kraft Heinz said it doesn’t want any long-term regrets when it comes to mergers and acquisitions, as signs point to its declining interest in acquiring Campbell Soup.

“And I think also important to say, we don’t do something to be happy for a quarter and then be regretting for the long-term, to be apologizing for the next couple of years,” Bernando Vierira Hees, CEO of Kraft Heinz, said during its second quarter earnings call Friday.

Hees fielded a several analyst questions during the call about the food giant’s merger and acquisition strategy amid speculation that it was interested in buying the 149-year-old soup company.

Kraft Heinz passed on the chance to bid on Pinnacle Foods, people familiar with the matter told CNBC, which could signal that any potential interest in Campbell is waning. Both food companies sell products that sit in grocery stores’ center aisles, which more consumers are avoiding these days. Conagra Brands ultimately bought Pinnacle Foods.

Campbell Soup has struggled to adapt to changing consumer tastes in recent years. It’s tapped managing consulting firm Deloitte to undertake a comprehensive strategic review. Company executives said they will announce their decision on Campbell’s future course on August 30 when it releases its fourth-quarter earnings and annual results.

Hees said that the experience gained since he became CEO of Heinz in 2013 has allowed him to more confident about where to put the money and to know which assets can be turned around.

“The fact that we like big ramps. The fact that we like business that can travel and [be] international. The fact that we do like to take synergies from existing business and to reinvest behind brands, behind products and behind people. I don’t think that this framework changed because of the capabilities we’re developing,” Hees said during the call.

The food giant posted strong results for its second quarter, beating analysts’ estimates on U.S. sales for the first time in at least five quarters. Total revenue for the company added up to $6.69 billion versus the $6.59 billion expected by analysts. The Chicago-based company earned $1 per share during the quarter, topping Wall Street estimates of 92 cents.

— Reuters contributed reporting to this story.

Source cnbc.com

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