The list of a company's largest shareholders can say a lot about the company in question. If you check the list of shareholders of The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC), you'll notice Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) is the largest shareholder, owning 26.7% of the shares outstanding. Buffett even serves on the company's board of directors. This fact alone should be enough to make any investor want to take a closer look at Kraft Heinz as a possible investment.
But that's not all. Berkshire is also joined by another astute shareholder in 3G Capital. Together, Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital own 50.5% of Kraft Heinz's shares, effectively giving control of the food giant to two very shareholder-friendly, long-term focused investors.
Kraft Heinz is in good hands
Anyone who regularly reads Buffett's annual letter to shareholders knows that the Oracle of Omaha places a very high value on dealing with people he likes and trusts. In his 2015 letter to Berkshire shareholders, Buffett praised founding partner of 3G Capital, Jorge Paulo Lemann, stating, "Jorge Paulo and his associates could not be better partners. We share with them a passion to buy, build, and hold large businesses that satisfy basic needs and desires."
3G Capital operates with a similar investment philosophy as Buffett. Both seek to invest in companies with strong, durable brands, and at a price that allows for a good return. Both investors also buy to hold for the long term, never planning to sell.
However, there is a minor difference in their approach. Where Berkshire takes a hands-off approach with businesses it acquires, allowing existing management to continue doing what their doing, 3G Capital takes a more active role in the acquired company, instilling a new culture of disciplined cost management. But Warren Buffett has no problem with 3G's approach, because the most important thing 3G and Berkshire share in common is results.
One of the key traits with 3G's investments are household name brands that have untapped international growth potential. This is the same trait that attracted Warren Buffett in his purchase of Coca-Cola stock in the 1980s -- one of his most famous and rewarding investments. This is certainly in play with Kraft Heinz, with the Kraft side generating 98% of sales in North America at the time of the merger in 2015, leaving the rest of the world to conquer.
The bottom line
Given the history of Berkshire and 3G working together, it's clear the people who run 3G Capital rank high on Buffett's list of preferred business partners, which should make any shareholder of Kraft Heinz feel good about their investment.