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HEINZ DEVELOPS ASIA STRATEGY WITH NEW ZEALAND ACQUISITION

 HEINZ DEVELOPS ASIA STRATEGY WITH NEW ZEALAND ACQUISITION
 PITTSBURGH, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE: HNZ) announced today that it has purchased from Goodman Fielder Wattie Limited of Sydney, Australia all of the outstanding shares of its subsidiary, Wattie's Limited,


headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand. The closing was consummated immediately after the signing of the purchase agreement.
 Authorizations for the acquisition have been granted by the New Zealand Overseas Investment Commission and the New Zealand Commerce Commission.
 The purchase price was approximately US $300 million.
 Goodman Fielder Wattie Limited is Australasia's largest food company and has operations in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe. Wattie's Limited has annual sales of approximately U.S. $400 million.
 Wattie's Limited produces a broad range of grocery products, most of which hold leading market shares in New Zealand and which are also exported to Australia, Japan and the rest of Asia. The J. Wattie Foods unit markets canned fruit, baked beans, spaghetti and vegetables to New Zealand and Australia. BestFriend Petfoods produces canned cat and dog food. Wattie Frozen Foods group produces an array of frozen meals, potatoes and other vegetables for New Zealand and Japan. Tip Top brand frozen desserts and ice creams are sold throughout New Zealand and are exported to Australia and Japan. Tegal Foods Division (formerly GFW Agri-Products) processes poultry and sells bulk animal feed.
 "Wattie's Limited will provide Heinz with an exciting opportunity to expand its presence significantly in Australasia, Japan and the rest of the region, a market with substantial growth potential," noted Anthony J.F. O'Reilly, Heinz chairman, president and chief executive officer.
 Heinz's affiliate, H.J. Heinz Company of Australia Ltd., is one of the region's largest food companies with annual sales exceeding U.S. $170 million. Its product line includes traditional Heinz varieties (baby foods, beans, ketchup, soups and tomato products) plus an array of Weight Watchers brand foods and nutritional services. Further north on the Pacific Rim, H.J. Heinz Company of Japan Ltd. is one of that country's most profitable foreign-owned enterprises.
 "Wattie's Limited is one of New Zealand's most respected companies. It is a leader in food processing technology and operates 15 factories in New Zealand," O'Reilly said. "We believe that Heinz is uniquely qualified to expand the Wattie's Limited business by entering new markets and introducing Heinz's worldwide expertise in marketing, new product development and global distribution. New Zealand will be a major manufacturing base in the growing Asia/Pacific market. In addition, the New Zealand economy has benefited greatly from government policies that have encouraged free trade and low-cost operator status over the past five years. We also believe we can take advantage of the increasing trend towards free trade and reduced tariffs in Asia and the Pacific Rim."
 H.J. Heinz Company's estimated sales will be $7 billion this year. More than 40 percent of its sales are outside the United States.
 Only 30 percent of its sales are under the Heinz label. The remaining 70 percent are sold under such number one brand names as Weight Watchers, StarKist Seafoods, Ore-Ida frozen foods, 9 Lives pet foods, Plasmon baby foods in Italy and Orlando tomato products in Spain.
 -0- 10/7/92
 /CONTACT: D. Edward I. Smyth, VP-corp. affairs, 412-456-5780, or Debora S. Foster, gen. mgr.-corp. communications, 412-456-5778, both of H.J. Heinz; or John E. Kennedy or L. Michael Kelly Jr., of Ketchum Public Relations, 412-456-3586 or 412-456-3840, for H.J. Heinz/
 (HNZ) CO: H.J. Heinz Company; Goodman Fielder Wattie Limited; Wattie Foods
 Limited ST: Pennsylvania IN: FOD SU: TNM


CD -- NYON1 -- 7307 10/07/92 04:16 EDT
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Date:Oct 7, 1992
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