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Unilever rejects Kraft Heinz’s $143bn merger proposal

FBR Staff Writer Published 20 February 2017

British-Dutch multinational consumer goods firm Unilever has rejected American food giant Kraft Heinz’s merger proposal worth $143bn.

It is not yet sure whether Kraft Heinz will be looking to approach another target following its failure to interest Unilever.

The food company dropped its plans on Unilever after finding it too difficult to pursue a transaction, as reported by the Reuters.

A joint statement released by Unilever and Kraft Heinz read: “Unilever and Kraft Heinz hereby announce that Kraft Heinz has amicably agreed to withdraw its proposal for a combination of the two companies.

“Unilever and Kraft Heinz hold each other in high regard. Kraft Heinz has the utmost respect for the culture, strategy and leadership of Unilever.”

Kraft Heinz had proposed to buy each of the Unilever’s shares at $50 which was rejected by the latter on the grounds that it grossly undervalued the company, as reported by Bloomberg.

The price represented 18% premium to its closing share price on 16 February, said Unilever.

The consumer goods company further said that there was no basis for further discussions on the deal, forcing Kraft Heinz to withdraw its proposal.

Had the deal between Kraft Heinz and Unilever gone ahead, it could have possibly been the biggest takeover in the food industry. Also, the two companies put together to form a new combined entity would have had a foundation having sales revenue of $84.8bn as recorded last year.

Last week, Kraft Heinz had reported its Q4 2016 net sales which dropped 3.7% from $7.1bn of the same period in the previous year to $6.9bn.

Image: Kraft Heinz’s Heinz Tomato Ketchup product. Photo courtesy of The Kraft Heinz Company.