• Market Crumbs

Goya Once Again Walks Away From A Sale

Image via Victor Garcia on Unsplash

Goya, which is the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the U.S., has come under fire as of late following remarks by the company's CEO Robert Unanue.

"We're all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder," Unanue said. "We have an incredible builder. And we pray. We pray for our leadership, our president, and we pray for our country — that we will continue to prosper and to grow."

Unanue's comments quickly led to calls to boycott Goya's products, with the hashtags #BoycottGoya and #Goyaway trending on Twitter.

Unanue responded to the boycott, calling it "suppression of speech" while saying he would not apologize for his comments.

Amid the furor over Unanue's comments, Goya reportedly has torpedoed a deal to sell a stake in the company for the second time in less than a year.

Last October, Goya was in late-stage talks to sell a majority stake in the company to The Carlyle Group in a deal that would've valued Goya at approximately $3.5 billion. About a month later talks fell apart and Goya walked away from the deal as Carlyle didn't want the founding family to remain in control.

"This was supposed to be a control transaction … and the family apparently changed its position in the last couple of weeks," Carlyle founder David Rubenstein said after the deal fell through.

It appears Goya has once again balked at a deal to sell a stake in the company. Goya reportedly walked away from a deal to sell a minority stake in the company to BDT Capital Partners that would've valued Goya at more than $4 billion. BDT Capital Partners hoped to expand Goya and eventually take the company public, but also wanted Unanue—who owns less than 5% of the company, to step down as CEO within 18 months.

Sources say Goya's board met last week and voted against the deal after tentatively agreeing to it just a few weeks earlier. Unanue reportedly saved his job last week by allowing the family-controlled board to add two independent directors, to which the board responded by voting against the deal.

A source close to the family believes the timing of Unanue's comments regarding Trump as the company negotiated a sale are not a coincidence.

"I don’t think it was a coincidence," the source said. "All of a sudden there is going to be a shareholder vote and here he is, saying this stuff about Trump."

While it remains to be seen how the boycott against Goya plays out, the company is clearly seen as an attractive opportunity to investors who wish to take it public. With so much power still in the hands of the founding family, it also remains to be seen whether they will ever relinquish control of the company their ancestors founded in 1936.

Leftover Crumbs

  • Ant prepares for IPO. Ant Group, which is the world's largest "unicorn" with a valuation of $150 billion, is preparing to go public through a dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Ant didn't disclose the size of the IPO or when it intends to go public. "Becoming a public company will enhance transparency to our stakeholders, including customers, business partners, employees, shareholders and regulators," Ant CEO Eric Jing said. "Through our commitment to serving the under-served, we make it possible for the whole of society to share our growth."

  • Chevron acquires Noble. Chevron acquired Noble Energy in a $5 billion all-stock deal, marking the largest deal in the U.S. energy sector this year. The deal values Noble at $10.38 per share, a 7.5% premium to Friday's close, as the total deal value equals about $13 billion with the assumption of Noble's debt. Following the transaction, Noble shareholders will own approximately 3% of the combined company. The deal will boost Chevron's shale presence and amount to potential annual savings of $300 million.

  • Mastercard expands into cryptocurrencies. Mastercard has struck a deal with Wirex to allow the company to issue payment cards on Mastercard's network. The deal makes Wirex the first "native cryptocurrency platform" to obtain principal membership to the program. "The cryptocurrency market continues to mature, and Mastercard is driving it forward, creating safe and secure experiences for consumers and businesses in today’s digital economy," Mastercard executive vice president Raj Dhamodharan said. "Our work with Wirex and the wider crypto ecosystem is accelerating innovation and empowering consumers with more choice in the way they pay."

  • KFC wants to 3D print chicken nuggets. KFC has partnered with Russian research laboratory 3D Printing Solutions to create 3D-printed chicken nuggets. KFC is interested in 3D-printing chicken nuggets as producing them would be more environmentally friendly by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. However, the chicken nuggets will not be plant-based as the ingredients include both plant material and chicken cells. 3D Printing Solutions said in a statement it is "developing additive bioprinting technology using chicken cells and plant material, allowing it to reproduce the taste and texture of chicken meat."

  • You'll just have to dial 988. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will change its phone number to 988 in 2022 from its current number of 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to change the lifeline's phone number to an easier to remember 3-digit code. "Establishing the easy-to-remember 988 as the '911' for suicide prevention and mental health services will make it easier for Americans in crisis to access the help they need," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.