John Henry Heinz founded his horseradish company in Sharpsburg PA in 1869 – and it’s been a perennial takeover target ever since.
There hasn’t been a year gone by that someone wasn’t bidding for the lady’s hand – at least if you had listened to the rumors. And this demonstrates why playing the takeover guessing game is a huge mistake for investors. You may be right on the merits of a potential deal but the timing is impossible.
A recent history of Heinz as takeover target rumors bears this out:
TAKEOVER SPECULATION SENDS HEINZ’S STOCK HIGHER (New York Times) January 13th, 1995
Heinz Would Be a Saucy target (BusinessWeek) February 12, 1995
Heinz Merger Rumors Dissipate…Again (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) February 24th, 1999
“The king of ketchup — In a takeover, it’ll be a gravy train.” (Barron’s) January 26th, 2009
Even Cramer got in on the action in February 2011, Motley Fool too. The list of takeover rumors from over the years has become endless.
And then one day Buffett does the deal. He could have done it yesterday or in 1988 or at any time he wanted to. The bankers have probably been pitching it on and off since you were in born.
There are easier games to play than betting on a deal.
Unless you’re this guy: