Kraft Heinz hires banker to review possible sale of Maxwell House coffee business - CNBC

Kraft Heinz hires banker to review possible sale of Maxwell House coffee business - CNBC
FILE PHOTO - Bottles of Heinz tomato ketchup of U.S. food company Kraft Heinz are offered at a supermarket of Swiss retail group Coop in Zumikon, Switzerland December 13, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo   -  Copyright  Arnd Wiegmann(Reuters)
By Reuters

(Reuters) – Food company Kraft Heinz Co has hired investment bank Credit Suisse to review options for its Maxwell House coffee business, including a potential sale, CNBC reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The coffee business has about $400 million (£306.3 million) in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and could attract a price of at least $3 billion in a sale, the sources, who were not identified, told CNBC.

The sale of the coffee business would be one in a string of divestitures for Kraft Heinz, the sources told CNBC.

Kraft Heinz spokesman Michael Mullen declined to comment on the CNBC report, but said the company was focused on building its business around brands in growing and profitable categories where it feels it has a competitive advantage.

“We will explore asset sales according to this framework and will engage if this alternative is superior to us keeping the business and helps to improve the company’s growth and margin trajectory,” he said in an email to Reuters on Sunday.

Credit Suisse spokeswoman Karina Byrne declined to comment on the report.

Kraft Heinz shares fell to a record low on Friday, a day after it disclosed a $15 billion writedown on its marquee brands. Also on Thursday, the company said it would cut its dividend by 36 percent and disclosed that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating the company’s accounting policies.

Brazil’s buyout fund 3G Capital and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc together own more than 50 percent of Kraft Heinz.

Kraft’s revenue growth has stagnated in the years since it merged with Heinz as consumers shun older, established brands for newer products, cheaper private-label brands and organic food.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Peter Cooney and Cynthia Osterman)

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