BUNOL, Spain - Billionaire investor and H.J. Heinz Company director Nelson Peltz took his long-running battle against Heinz to Buñol, Spain today for the annual tomato-throwing free-for-all known as La Tomatina festival. Peltz got wind that Heinz CEO William R. Johnson was heading to Buñol, so Peltz booked a jet to Spain, donned goggles and gloves, and bought up baskets of the toughest tomatoes he could find. Peltz refused to squash-up his tomatoes before entering the fray to make them softer, as is customary.
Peltz's spotters located Johnson, who was off in a corner of the town square laughing it up with friends. When the cannon fired to start the festivities, Peltz announced that Johnson was "my bitch," then he mercilessly let loose a barrage of tomato-fire at the CEO. Peltz's deadly aim repeatedly struck Johnson about the head and torso. The smile on Johnson's face gave way to a look of fear, and he quickly realized that this, not last year's proxy battle at the Heinz shareholder meeting, was the fight of his life. Johnson tried to run for cover, but he lost his footing and appeared to be dazed by a quick flurry of direct hits to the chin and left ear.
Peltz cackled with delight as Johnson leaned back against the ropes and put his arms in front of his face, the position of submission. Peltz proceeded to pummel him with tomatoes at close range for fifteen solid minutes.
But then, Peltz began to tire. He had used up his tomatoes, and even though Johnson's arms were caked in puree, the CEO was rested and relatively unscathed. Suddenly Johnson came off the ropes and lowered his arms from his face. He grabbed a handful of tomatoes and, with a furious second wind, landed a series of direct blows to Peltz's head. In less than fifteen seconds, a stunned Peltz staggered backward and fell to the ground unconscious. Spanish paramedics rushed him to a local hospital.
In the locker room later, a tired but elated Johnson told reporters that he had used the same "rope-a-dope" strategy to stave off Peltz's proxy fight at Heinz. Then Johnson declared: "I am the greatest heavyweight of all time."