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英语新闻:3G资本收购公司之后会怎么做

2015-04-02    来源:财富中文网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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英语新闻:3G资本收购公司之后会怎么做

英语新闻:

To hear Jorge Paulo Lemann describe the corporate philosophy of private-equity group 3G Capital, you’d think he was talking about running a marathon: “You’re running, you’re always close to a limit, you’re working very hard and being evaluated all the time.” That’s what Lemann told Fortune in 2013 in a rare interview for a story about Anheuser-Busch InBev, the beer behemoth born out of a $52 billion buyout that 3G orchestrated in 2008.

Now, 3G and Warren Buffett are teaming up on a mega-merger of Heinz and Kraft just seven months after they worked together on Burger King’s $11.4 billion takeover of Canadian chain Tim Hortons. One year before that, they bought ketchup-maker Heinz.

In the new deal, Heinz will buy 51% of Kraft. (When rumors of the move first broke, late Tuesday, they bumped Kraft shares up 16% in after-hours trading.) The new corporation, The Kraft Heinz Company, will have around $28 billion in annual revenue, and current Heinz CEO Bernardo Hees will remain chief executive.

So, what can Kraft employees expect next? First: widespread layoffs, lower budgets, new levels of austerity, and a shift in the corporate culture. And then, for shareholders: profit.

When 3G led InBev’s hostile takeover of Anheuser-Busch, it quickly cut 1,400 jobs from the American company (75% of them in St. Louis) and brought in Brazilian executives from InBev — itself the result of a 2004 merger of Belgian beer maker Interbrew and Brazilian beer maker Ambev, which was the result of a 1999 merger between Brahma and Antarctica — to run things. They included Lemann protégé Carlos Brito as AB-InBev CEO, and former Ambev exec Luiz Edmond as zone president of North America (effectively CEO of Anheuser-Busch). Industry consultant Tom Pirko told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at the time that InBev’s top execs are “not known for their gentle demeanor.”


AB-InBev quickly earned plaudits, and still does, for its lean operations and profitability. Brito brought to Anheuser-Busch the concept of “zero-based budgeting,” wherein every expense must be newly justified every year, not just new ones, and the goal is to bring it lower than the year prior. “They are a profit- and margin-generating machine,” Harry Schuhmacher, editor of trade publication Beer Business Daily, toldFortune for our 2013 profile on Brito. That reputation comes directly from the 3G handbook.

With Heinz, it was the same story. The CEO of 15 years, Bill Johnson, was replaced with 3G partner Bernardo Hees (pronounced “hess”). After his first speech to the 50 top executives, at a Heinz leadership conference in a San Francisco, Hees immediately summoned most of them, one by one, into a separate room to inform them of whether they still had a job. Eleven of the top 12 execs did not — they were swiftly replaced by younger talent from within Heinz or by outside executives who had worked at other 3G-owned companies. Within another month, Heinz announced it would cut 350 of the 1,200 full-time jobs at Pittsburgh headquarters, plus another 250 elsewhere in North America.

At Tim Hortons, where the deal with 3G, Buffett and Burger King was finalized in December, 350 people lost their jobs in January. CBC News in Canada reported that the workers were “blindsided.”

It’s all part of what analysts call “the 3G way.” That is not necessarily a Brazilian method, per se, according to Lemann. In fact, he told Fortune that the 3G style has been influenced mostly by American businesses: “We’re a copycat, really. That’s what we are. Most of the stuff we’ve learned has been from Jack Welch, Jim Collins, from GE, from Wal-Mart. We’ve sort of put it all together. Most of the people who are at the top of InBev are people who came from our trainee system, which was developed and worked at Ambev. So they’re at the top not because they are Brazilians, but because these are the people who we were training 20 years ago, and they’re the best-trained people available.”

Regardless, the 3G way has come to stand for: extreme transparency; merit-based pay; austere budgeting (“treat the company’s money as your own,” AB-InBev employees are constantly told); promoting young talent quickly; and a spirit of competitiveness. “We’re constantly trying to train new people and we’re constantly telling everybody that the newer people should be better than the old people,” said Lemann. “And you can only go up in the firm if you have picked people as good as yourself or better to be below you.”

3G rewards loyalty, and AB-InBev’s Brito is a perfect example. He is a product of Lemann’s system. He first met Lemann in 1987 when he was working for Shell Oil and had been accepted to Stanford Business School. Lemann and his partners at the investment bank Banco Garantia ran a scholarship program, and they backed Brito. After finishing business school, Brito went straight to work with 3G partner Marcel Telles at Brahma, a Rio-based brewer that Lemann and his partners had bought. From there, it was a rung-by-rung rise: Brahma to Ambev to InBev to Anheuser-Busch InBev, which now also includes Grupo Modelo.

“There will always be people who don’t like it, especially the ones who were just entitled to be there for historical reasons, the ones who were not performing,” said Luiz Edmond, who now holds a global role as AB-InBev’s chief sales officer, about the 3G culture. “Our processes, our systems, do not allow that. They do not allow you to hide in a nice room, stay for the whole day. No.”

If that sounds like the work environment for you, the newly formed Kraft Heinz Company may soon be hiring. But first, it’ll likely be cutting.

behemoth: n.巨兽,庞然大物

buyout: n.全部买下; 买下(公司或产业)

takeover: n.(事业等的)接管; (经营权等的)接收

layoff: n.停工,停止活动; 临时解雇

austerity: n.严厉; 简朴,朴素; 苦行; 节衣缩食

demeanor: n.<正>行为,举止,态度

plaudit: n.鼓掌; 喝彩

(财富中文网)


如果乍听到乔治•保罗•雷曼描述私募公司3G资本的经营哲学,你可能会以为他谈的是跑马拉松,“你不停地跑,总是快要接近极限,你一直非常努力,而且你的表现会被人全程评估。”这是他在2013年一次难得的采访中告诉《财富》的,那次报道的主题是合并诞生的啤酒巨头安海斯-布希英博,2008年,3G资本精心促成了这一价值520亿美元的并购案。

现在,3G资本又和沃伦•巴菲特合作,操刀了亨氏食品和卡夫食品的超大规模合并案。就在七个月前,他们才刚刚一起参与了汉堡王对加拿大咖啡及甜甜圈连锁商蒂姆霍顿斯的收购,交易价值114亿美元。而再往前追溯一年,是他们一起收购了番茄酱制造商亨氏。

在最新的这笔交易中,亨氏将收购卡夫51%的股权(相关传闻首次爆出后,卡夫股价在盘后交易中上涨了16%)。合并后的卡夫亨氏公司年收入将达到约280亿美元,亨氏现任首席执行官贝尔纳多•赫斯将担任新公司的CEO。

那么,卡夫的员工接下来会看到什么呢?首先就是大范围裁员、削减预算、进一步紧缩开支以及公司文化的转变。然后,股东将收获利润。

当3G资本牵头完成英博对安海斯-布希的恶意收购后,它马上裁掉了1400名安海斯-布希员工,并引进英博的巴西高管团队入主安海斯-布希。英博本身就是由比利时啤酒公司Interbrew和巴西同行Ambev在2004年合并而成;Ambev则是前巴西啤酒制造商Brahma和Antarctica于1999年合并的产物。其高管包括出任安海斯-布希英博CEO的薄睿拓、任北美区总裁(相当于安海斯-布希CEO)的Ambev公司前高管路易斯•埃德蒙德。当时,接受《圣路易斯邮报》采访的行业顾问汤姆•皮尔科称,英博高层“并不以温和派形象示人”。

安海斯-布希英博的精益化运营和盈利能力迅速赢得了赞誉,至今仍好评不断。薄睿拓向安海斯-布希灌输了“从零开始制定预算”的概念。按照这样的思路,每年都要重新审核每一笔开支是否合理,而不仅仅是新增开支。这样做的目的是让预算逐年下降。2013年,《财富》杂志撰写薄睿拓的人物报道时,行业出版物《啤酒业日报》的编辑哈里•舒马赫曾介绍说:“他们是创造利润和提高利润率的机器。” 这样的名声正是源于3G资本的行为方式。

收购亨氏后的情况也如出一辙。作为3G资本合伙人,贝尔纳多•赫斯取代了在亨氏担任了15年CEO的比尔•约翰逊。在旧金山召开的亨氏高层会议上,赫斯首次向该公司50名高管发表了讲话。随后,他立即在另一个房间跟大多数高管逐个见面,目的是告知后者是否遭到解雇。在12名最高层负责人中,有11人丢了工作,取而代之的是亨氏内部的年轻才俊以及来自3G资本旗下其他公司的高层。不到一个月后,亨氏宣布,拥有1200名正式员工的匹兹堡总部将裁员350人,北美其他地区的业务也将裁掉250名员工。

3G资本和巴菲特在去年12月帮助汉堡王完成了对蒂姆霍顿斯的收购。今年1月份,350名蒂姆霍顿斯员工就被炒了鱿鱼。哥伦比亚广播公司加拿大分部的报道说这些员工完全“措手不及”。

以上种种就是分析师所说的“3G模式”。据雷曼介绍,这种行为方式并非产自巴西。实际上,他对《财富》杂志表示,在经营风格方面对3G资本影响最大的一直是美国公司。雷曼说:“我们只是照猫画虎,真的。我们就是这样。我们学到的东西大多来自杰克•韦尔奇、吉姆•柯林斯、通用电气和沃尔玛。我们基本上就是把这些融和到了一起。英博的大多数高层都来自我们的培训系统,这个系统由Ambev建立,也为Ambev所用。也就是说,他们身居要职并不是因为他们是巴西人,而是因为他们在20年前就接受了我们的培训,而且是可供挑选的受训者中表现最好的。”

不管怎样,3G模式已经成了一种象征,它代表着极高的透明度,基于考评的薪酬,严格的预算(安海斯-布希英博总是这样告诫员工:“要像花自己的钱那样使用公司的资金”),迅速提拔年轻人才以及竞争精神。雷曼说:“我们一直在想办法培训新人,也不停地告诉所有人,新员工应该超过老员工。只有选拔出和你一样出色,甚至更出色的人来做你的下属,你才能得到更好的提升。”

对忠诚的人3G资本会予以回报,出自雷曼的培训系统的安海斯-布希英博的薄睿拓就是最好的例证。1987年,当时还在壳牌石油工作的薄睿拓第一次见到了雷曼,那时他刚收到斯坦福商学院的录取通知。雷曼当时和他在投资银行加兰蒂亚银行的合伙人管理着一个奖学金项目,为薄睿拓求学提供了资金支持。从商学院毕业后,薄睿拓立即成为3G资本合伙人马塞尔•特莱斯的手下,在雷曼及其合伙人收购的里约啤酒公司Brahma工作。自此开始,从Brahma到Ambev,从Ambev到英博,再到今天的安海斯-布希英博,薄睿拓迎来了一次又一次升迁。现在,墨西哥啤酒公司莫德罗集团也成了安海斯-布希英博的一员。

路易斯•埃德蒙德现在是安海斯-布希英博的首席销售官,负责全球事务。对于3G资本的文化,他说:“总会有人不喜欢它,特别是那些只是出于历史原因才待在这里的人,那些毫无建树的人。我们的流程和我们的系统都不允许出现这种情况。它们不允许你躲在舒适的房间里一待就是一整天。绝对不行。”

如果这种工作环境听起来很适合你,新成立的卡夫亨氏公司也许很快就会展开招聘了。不过在此之前,它会做的第一步可能是先裁员。



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