US food major Kraft Heinz, which is in the midst of a business review before a new chief executive comes on stream, is reportedly struggling to sell its Maxwell House coffee brand because of what appears to be an inflated price tag.
CNBC reported in February that the maker of Heinz ketchup and Planters peanuts had hired Credit Suisse to review options for the coffee business, including a possible sale. And Nasdaq-listed Kraft Heinz is also said to be looking at the disposal of its US frozen potato brand Ore-Ida, with its baby food brand Plasmon also touted as another potential divestment.
The New York Post reports, quoting two unnamed sources close to the proceedings, that Kraft Heinz is seeking to reap US$2.5bn from the sale of Maxwell House. However, one of the newspaper’s sources said potential interested parties examined the books of the coffee business in early April but have made no offers.
“No one is spending time with Maxwell House,” the person added.
Kraft Heinz declined to comment when contacted by just-food to confirm if Maxwell House is up for sale and how any potential deal is progressing.
It was announced this week that FMCG veteran Miguel Patricio is set to become the chief executive of Kraft Heinz on 1 July, as current CEO Bernardo Hees is due to leave to return to 3G Capital, the private-equity firm that joined hands with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway to instigate the $49bn merger of H.J. Heinz with Kraft Foods in the summer of 2015.
Patricio most-recently served as chief marketing officer at brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev.
While Hees’ strategy was swayed toward acquisitions funded by cost-cutting measures, Patricio has already indicated he will be more focused on brand building, spurring organic growth, and increasing efficiency.
just-food analysis: Is the tide already turning for Kraft Heinz before new chief Miguel Patricio sails in?