UPDATE 7-Heinz deal for Kraft expands food larder for Buffett, 3G

Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:49pm EDT
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(Adds details on deal value)

* Kraft brands have opportunity to expand overseas

* Kraft shareholders to hold 49 pct of Kraft Heinz Co

* Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway to own over 320 mln shares

* Buffett: "We will be in the stock forever"

* Deal unlikely to face regulatory hurdles

By Anjali Athavaley and Sruthi Ramakrishnan

March 25 (Reuters) - Ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co, backed by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc and Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital, will combine with Kraft Foods Group Inc in a $46 billion deal to create the third-largest North American food company, executives said on Wednesday.

Shares of Kraft, known for its namesake macaroni and cheese in a box, as well as Velveeta, Maxwell House coffee and Oscar Mayer processed meats, closed up nearly 36 percent at $83.17.   Continued...