Secretary of State John Kerry may have just scored a huge windfall thanks to Warren Buffett.
Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital announced Thursday that they are buying Heinz ketchup Co. for $23.3 billion. As part of the deal, the firms agreed to pay a per-share price that’s 20 percent more than the stock’s closing price on Wednesday.
That’s great news for Kerry, who at last check owned $3 million worth of shares in Heinz and could make hundreds of thousands of dollars off of the sale, according to the New York Times. Kerry's connection to Heinz comes through his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, who is an heir to the Heinz fortune.
Kerry and his wife agreed to pull their money out of nearly 100 investments that could represent a conflict of interest in his job as secretary of state, according to the Boston Globe. They kept their investments in Heinz, though Kerry did agree to recuse himself from certain matters involving the company.
Kerry’s connection to the ketchup empire -- and the wealth he’s gained from it -- has left him open for criticism during his political career. During the 2004 presidential campaign some criticized his wife for only releasing two pages of her 2003 tax return, which indicated that she paid a 12.3 percent rate on her income that year, according to a separate Boston Globe report.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also brought Kerry’s wealth into the spotlight during the 2012 presidential campaign. While Romney was being scrutinized for only releasing two years of tax returns, the candidate argued that the media had left Kerry alone for doing the same thing. Kerry’s office refuted the allegations, noting that he released 20 years of tax returns during his 2004 run for president.