It's the peak of the elephant seal mating season on the California coast. That means the SUV-sized, 4,000-pound males duke it out for a chance to mate.
Legendary investor Warren Buffet announced Thursday morning that his company, Berkshire Hathaway, will team up with a Brazilian-backed investment firm to buy H. J. Heinz, the ketchup maker. The price tag? Just over $23 billion.
That may sound like a lot for condiments. For many people Heinz means one thing: Ketchup.
The company actually started with horseradish way back in 1869. It added “the red magic” -- as it later called ketchup -- a few years after. While it’s still best known for that iconic glass bottle of Heinz 57, it does a lot more.
“If you were in the U.K., for instance, Heinz Baked Beans is extremely popular,” says Erin Lash, an analyst who covers Heinz for Morningstar.
Plus they make sauces, soups, and pasta meals, among other products.
Lash says 60 percent of sales come from outside the U.S. That diverse customer base is likely part of the appeal for Berkshire Hathaway.
“Heinz has expansive global scale and they have a very strong brand portfolio,” says Lash. “Beyond that, the firm generates a boatload of cash.”
That combined with its iconic brand and long history, make it just the kind of company Buffet likes. He’s reportedly been keeping an eye on Heinz since the 1980s.
The decline looks like another sign that the labor market is slowly, steadily, improving.
The owners of a California condo resort say they went into a unit to do some work and were quickly grabbed by the man who authorities say had already killed three people and was determined to take revenge on his former police colleagues.
American Airlines and US Airways have officially announced their long-suspected merger. Together, the companies will become the largest air carrier in the world. The new airline will be called American Airlines and will be based in Fort Worth, Texas. It will be run by the current CEO of US Airways, Doug Parker.
Robert Isom, the COO of US Airways and John Snook, the Senior Vice Presdeint of Customer Service at American Airlines, join Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson to talk about the challenges of the coming merger and their hopes for the future.
Crowd funding has proved popular for bands raising money to produce a new album and for producers of documentary films. Now scientists are getting into the act, and some are raising money from the very people they're studying.
Investors are digesting a couple of big deals this morning. First, American Airlines and US Airways announced they are merging to form the world's largest airline. And second, Warren Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway is going in on a deal to buy ketchup maker Heinz for $23 billion.
According to Susan Schmidt, head of U.S. equities at Mesirow Financial, markets should get ready to see a flurry of mergers and acquisitions.
"We had a slow down in 2012, but really this is a trend that we saw begin in 2010-2011," says Schmidt. "Companies have a lot of cash right now, they are in great capital positions by and large, they are looking for ways to strategically improve their businesses... A lot of times that means mergers."
To hear what a new crop of mergers might mean for the job market and small businesses, click on the audio player above.
Also: The Knight Foundation apologizes; more bad news for Barnes & Noble; and discontinued candy heart slogans.