Although Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Company has announced that it is being acquired by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and global investment firm 3G Capital, officials of the company say its new owners have no plans to relocate the company or discontinue its philanthropic support for community initiatives in southwestern Pennsylvania.
According the Associated Press, the ketchup-maker has been an integral part of the Pittsburgh community since it was founded nearly a hundred and fifty years ago by Henry John Heinz. Thanks to the charitable efforts of both the company and the Heinz Endowments — a private foundation created by the 2007 merger of the Howard Heinz and Vira I. Heinz endowments — the Heinz brand is attached to various iconic Pittsburgh institutions, including Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. "Heinz and Pittsburgh go together," said Andrew Masich, president and CEO of the Senator John Heinz History Center. "They're both solid American products, there's integrity in the names that's immediately recognized wherever you go around the world."
For that reason, the company's new owners have pledged to preserve the company's connections in the community. The company also will continue to honor its naming rights deals with the Steelers and others, the AP reports.
Many Pittsburghers have said they are confident the company will remain connected to Pittsburgh — not only because of its charitable ties to the region, but also because Buffett and 3G Capital have a track record of not interfering with the companies they acquire. "Anytime you have a name like [Heinz] that's plastered all over [a] city, when something happens to it, it injects uncertainty, because it's such a stable part of the community," Jeff Inman, a marketing professor and associate dean at the University of Pittsburgh's Katz Graduate School of Business, told the AP. "[But, think] of what Berkshire Hathaway does: They buy great brands that haven't realized their potential and they help them realize it."