Case Study: Heinz - Seesen, Germany

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Overview of Client and Situation

In 2014, after being acquired by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, Heinz was consolidating its manufacturing locations throughout Europe and one of those facilities was in Seesen, Germany.  Heinz owned the equipment, buildings, and land that made up this facility that processed, packaged and produced fridge packs of beans, pasta, and infant meals.

Rabin's Package Offer to Heinz

By the time Rabin started discussions with Heinz, Heinz had already signed a contract with a leading European auction company to sell only the equipment assets at an auction on a commission basis. Subsequently, Rabin came in and offered to purchase not only the equipment assets, but also the real estate, thereby providing Heinz with immediate cash and a complete exit strategy for this facility in a single transaction. Heinz determined that Rabin's offer was a better fit for their situation and exited the auctioneer's contract for a significant termination fee. This allowed Heinz to move forward with Rabin's offer to purchase the equipment and real estate together and Heinz did not have to wait on an uncertain outcome via the auction process alone. 

Within the first year of purchase, Rabin successfully sold the equipment in an auction and negotiated a sale for the entire 46,000 square meters parcel to a local developer. 

Rabin's Involvement

  • Negotiated all details of purchase & sale with Heinz and  hired local representatives to work on site. 
  • Met with local city officials multiple times to understand needs and desires of the town and best for the property. 
  • Marketed property to a wide range of possible buyers, including speculative investors, developers, and end users. 

Deal Challenges

  • Understanding value in foreign market: partnered with local broker and local officials. 
  • Finding buyers in small German submarket: Created marketing plan to appeal to wide range of possible real estate purchasers, and held international online auction of all equipment. 
  • Environmentally challenging property: Managed Phase 1 environmental challenges and continued operation of electric power substation lease on portion of real property.