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October 28, 2013
OAK BROOK, Ill.McDonald's is ending its 40-year relationship with Heinz after a change in management took the ketchup manufacturer a little too close to its Burger King competition.
Former Burger King Worldwide CEO Bernardo Hees was appointed to take the reigns at H.J. Heinz Co. after the company was acquired by an investment consortium comprised of Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital earlier this year, leaving McDonald's in a saucy spot. The company later confirmed that it has started the process of moving to other vendors, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
"As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time," according to a statement from McDonald's to the Post-Gazette.
The decision has put an end to a years-long push by Heinz officials to regain ground with the restaurant giant that operates more than 34,000 locations globally.
The impact is expected to primarily affect Heinz in international markets, as most U.S. McDonald's don't serve Heinz. In fact, McDonald's only serves Heinz in two U.S. markets Pittsburgh and Minneapolis.
A Heinz spokesman did not respond directly to McDonald's statements. "As a matter of policy, Heinz does not comment on relationships with customers," said Michael Mullen, senior vice president of corporate and government affairs.
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