The Kraft Heinz Co., headquartered in Pittsburgh and Chicago, said it completed the sale of certain assets in its global cheese business and the license of certain trademarks to an affiliate of Groupe Lactalis for total consideration of approximately $3.3 billion, including cash consideration of approximately $3.2 billion. The transaction involves the divestiture of Kraft Heinz’s natural, grated, cultured and specialty cheese businesses in the United States; its grated cheese business in Canada; and its grated, processed and natural cheese businesses outside the United States and Canada.
The divestiture includes the company’s global intellectual property rights to several brands — including, among others, Cracker Barrel, Breakstone’s, Knudsen, Athenos, Polly-O and Hoffman’s, as well as the Cheez Whiz brand in the majority of countries outside the United States and Canada. Kraft Heinz said the transaction also includes perpetual licenses for the Kraft and Velveeta brands that the company will grant to Laval, France-based Groupe Lactalis for certain cheese products.
Kraft Heinz will retain its Kraft Singles, Velveeta processed cheese and Cheez Whiz processed cheese businesses in the United States and Canada, as well as its Kraft, Velveeta and Cracker Barrel macaroni and cheese, Kraft sauces and cream cheese, including Philadelphia cream cheese, businesses worldwide.
“The sale of our natural cheese portfolio is another milestone in our rapid transformation,” said Kraft Heinz CEO Miguel Patricio. “The divestiture is a great example of our agile portfolio management, and we believe it will help Kraft Heinz enhance our overall growth profile, our strategic focus and financial flexibility.”