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Heinz Sees Red

May 10, 2005
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Prepared Foods May 10, 2005 enewsletter

H.J. Heinz Company announced that its European business has completed a transaction that will make Heinz a majority owner of Petrosoyuz, a Russian maker of ketchup, condiments and sauces, through the formation of a new joint venture company to market ketchup and other products in Russia and neighboring Eastern European nations.

"This joint venture agreement accelerates Heinz's growth in Eastern Europe, now the largest market for ketchup and condiments in Europe. Heinz will have a clear majority stake in Petrosoyuz, a privately held St. Petersburg-based food company that holds Russia's number-one or number-two positions in mayonnaise, ketchup and margarine," said William R. Johnson, chairman, president and CEO of the H.J. Heinz Company.

Petrosoyuz has annual revenue of approximately US $140 million, more than 2,000 employees and three manufacturing plants in St. Petersburg, Otradnoe and Ivanovo. Those factories and the Heinz baby food factory in Georgievsk will become part of the joint venture company.

Joe Jimenez, president and CEO of Heinz Europe, stated, "This joint venture is consistent with our European strategy to build our core businesses in the rapidly emerging markets of Eastern Europe. Additionally, it will give Heinz access to local market understanding that will allow us to expand sales of other popular Heinz brands and products throughout Russia. In order to achieve this, the co-founders of Petrosoyuz, Mark Budyko and Dmitry Filatov, will continue to provide their leadership and market knowledge, as co-managing directors of the joint venture."

Mark Budyko, principal of Petrosoyuz, said, "This joint venture with Heinz is a win-win for all parties involved. Heinz is an international player with a great track record for manufacturing and marketing world-class products. They offer resources, technical capabilities and commercial expertise, which will be combined with Petrosoyuz's knowledge and understanding of the Russian market, to take our business to the next level. We see this agreement as a very positive step for our employees, our customers and all stakeholders."

Petrosoyuz' business includes famous local brands such as Picador, Derevenskoe, Mechta Hoziayki and Moya Semya. Petrosoyuz has number-one market positions in mayonnaise and spreads/margarines, with shares of 19% and 59.5% respectively, and a number-two position for ketchup with a 23.7% market share. The company was established in 1990.

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