Category Archives: International

Kraft Foods to merge with HJ Heinz in US$46b deal

Kraft Foods, the owner of several of New Zealand’s favourite brands, is set to merge with HJ Heinz in a $46 billion USD deal. Heinz or Wattie’s is one of New Zealand’s oldest brands with operations dating back 91 years.

Kraft Foods already owns a plethora of much loved brands in New Zealand. From Cadbury to Vegemite, Wattie’s will be a much welcomed edition. Here is a list of all of Kraft Foods brands:

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This deal has been orchestrated by Brazil’s 3G Capital and US investment guru Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire and 3G will invest US$10b in the new business, which will be known as Kraft Heinz Co. It will have dual headquarters in Pittsburgh and the Chicago area, with current Heinz chief executive officer Bernardo Hees staying at the helm says

With a iconic and long-lived brands already under it’s helm, it can be expected that Kraft Foods have many shareholders. These shareholders will receive 49 per cent of the stock in the combined entity, plus a special cash dividend of US$16.50 a share, the companies said.

Buffett and 3G, the private equity firm, previously teamed up to buy Heinz in 2013 and they cut costs, a strategy they aim to repeat with Kraft.

“3G has squeezed a lot out of Heinz and now they will do the same job at Kraft,” David Turner, an analyst at research firm Mintel, said. “When Buffett invests in a sector, it gives a sign that the sector is ripe for acquisitions. This will flag up other opportunities.”


Rising From the Career Graveyard

In 1988 Marty O’Halloran was banished to the place where careers go to rest – Auckland. As he packed up his belongings from DDB in Sydney, his admen colleagues showed sympathy. Auckland afterall, was considered to be the place where careers died.

Although O’Halloran doubted the move, his employers insisted that running their client McDonald’s would help with career. A quarter century later and they couldn’t be more right.

He became chief executive of DDB New Zealand in 2001. In 2005, he took over as regional group chief executive based in Sydney, overseeing DDB agencies in that city, Melbourne and Auckland.

O’Halloran told the NZ Herald successful changes were made to the DDB New Zealand agency from 2001, which involved building a full-service operation that met the different needs of clients, such as public relations and media buying.

Marty O’Halloran

Golden Apple Possibly No Longer Ripe

The new Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been a global sales phenomenon. In fact, earlier in February they became the most profitable country in history. Numbers showed that the Silicon Valley firm made $18 million in three months by selling 34,000 iPhones an hour around the clock from October to December.

But analysts are asking about the future of this successful firm. Firstly it is being asked whether they have reached their peak.

The big challenge now, says the vice-president of research for CCS Insight, Geoff Blaber, is to find the next growth opportunity.

“Western Europe and north America are becoming saturated. To have room for growth, Apple has to rely on taking growth from [Google’s] Android operating system based devices,” he said. “The big, focus is on China and to a lesser extent India.”

Another question being asked by the NZ Herald is whether there are many people left who want an iPhone. The latest iPhone sales were worth more than Microsoft and Google’s latest quarterly sales combined.

Only time will tell whether Apple has reached it’s ripest peak.

Very Kiwi bookshop in the heart of Hong Kong

The heart of one of Hong Kong’s main shopping districts is not a place you would assume would have a demand for kiwi books. Surprisingly there is an ample market there!

Garry Colely discovered while in Hong Kong that there was a lack of English-language education resources. Since he and his wife loved the city, they didn’t hesitate in filling that gap.

Demand was initially from schools needing the resources for primary children. Once Kiwik International opened a physical store, Kiwi and Australian teachers would visit because it reminded them of home. When Kiwis and Australians were sent to teach in schools, this allowed Kiwik International to break into mainstream schools.

However now Colely is selling up and moving back home. He told he will miss the energy of Hong Kong – “there would be more people walk past my building here in an afternoon than walk up Queen Street in a month” – but sees moving back to New Zealand as “one door closing and another about to open”.

“I’ve never been the sort of guy that sits and lets the grass grow around my feet.”


Building a Great Kiwi Brand in Australia

The answer to building a great kiwi brand in Australia may surprise you. Kiwi’s and Aussie’s are supposedly sworn enemies – well at least on the field! Many New Zealand businesses jump to ditch to get a share of Australia’s large market.

According to Stuff business writer Bella Katz, Australian businesses make a lot of noise but are slow to react to competition. She recommends New Zealander’s use this to their advantage. But Katz’s final conclusion about Aussie success is more surprising.

Imagine how well New Zealand companies can do here in combination with the right locals? A meeting of minds, if you will. The Aussie ruthlessness matched with the Kiwi perseverance. It’s a beauty.

With that professional cooperation in mind, last month I interviewed twelve Australian and Australia-based CEOs of New Zealand companies and asked them what it was like to work for Kiwi brands over here. I wanted to know if there was a magic formula to building a great Kiwi brand in Australia.

What came out clearly from those interviews, and from previous conversations I’ve had on the topic, is that New Zealand businesses thrive in Australia with great locals on board. Even more so when the cords are not cut – but handed over.

Information sourced from