New York elite act on Kraft and Heinz mega-merger

Cravath Swaine & Moore, Kirkland & Ellis and Sullivan & Cromwell are acting on the merger between Heinz and Kraft that will create the world’s fifth largest food and drinks company.

Kraft has turned to Sullivan for advice on the deal, which will create a company with combined revenue of $28bn (£18.8bn).

Cravath and Kirkland are advising Heinz, with both firms fielding New York-based teams.

Holding company Berkshire Hathaway and investment firm 3G Capital will invest $10bn (£6.7bn) in the newly created business, in which existing Heinz shareholders will collectively own 51% of the shares. Kraft shareholders will receive stock in the combined company and a cash dividend of $16.50 (£11.10) per share.

3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway – which is owned by US billionaire Warren Buffett – acquired Heinz for $28bn (£18bn) in 2013. Kirkland secured a role on the deal alongside Davis Polk & Wardwell and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.

Kirkland’s team, which is representing 3G Capital in addition to Heinz, is being led by corporate partners Jay Ptashek, Josh Korff, Bill Sorabella, Michael Kim and Nick Schwartz.

Cravath’s team advising the tomato ketchup maker is being led by M&A partners Scott Barshay, Eric Schiele and Jonathan Davis.

Sullivan is acting for Kraft with a team headed by corporate partners Frank Aquila and Audra Cohen.

Securities partner Cathy Clarkin is also advising Kraft alongside lawyers working on the executive compensation and antitrust aspects of the deal.

The combined Kraft Heinz Company will have eight brands worth more than $1bn (£670.5m) each.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the second half of 2015.