Somebody is going to wring some cost savings out of the structure of Mondelez (MDLZ) at some point. The question is whether it is going to be the existing management, or the operating performance fiends at Kraft Heinz (KHC) .
Shares of Mondelez jumped 4% in Tuesday's trading, as the rumor mills revived the reports that the Oreo maker was back on the auction block. The stock traded at $46, back in range of its mid-summer highs.
The precipitant for the latest round of speculation: reports that 3G, the Brazilian asset manager, has set about to raise a new $8 billion to $10 billion fund, an initiative that would presumably be used to finance 3G's next investment - or likely co-investment - perhaps in another U.S. food maker. 3G, which has partnered with Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) in the past on acquisitions, would presumably use the two enterprises' joint venture Kraft Heinz as the takeover vehicle in any Mondelez play.
"The fit seems natural," Brittany Weissman, a food industry analyst at Edward Jones, said in an interview Tuesday.
Kraft would like to expand its presence on the international stage, and Mondelez still has a portfolio of global brands formerly owned by Kraft. Kraft and Mondelez, of course, split into two companies in 2011: the larger global business, which includes, in addition to Oreo, brands such as Cadbury and Wheat Thins, became Mondelez; while cheese products, coffee, Jell-O and Planters nuts were retained by the the Kraft Foods Group. Kraft then merged with Heinz in 2015 under the direction of the 3G/Berkshire initiative.