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Kraft Foods Hoping to Raise $5 Billion in IPO

March 17, 2001|Associated Press

Kraft Foods Inc., the nation's largest food company and the maker of Velveeta cheese, Ritz crackers and Oscar Mayer hot dogs, plans to raise as much as $5 billion by selling its stock to the public for the first time.

The proposed initial public offering of the food and beverage unit of the tobacco heavyweight Philip Morris Cos. could be among the largest ever in the United States.

In a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Kraft said it intends to use proceeds from the stock sale to retire debt owed to Philip Morris (ticker symbol: MO).

Kraft didn't disclose in its SEC filing how large a stake in the company would be sold to the public. A price for the shares and the timing of the sale also were not specified. The market for IPOs has been weak this year amid big declines in major U.S. stock indexes.

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