Kraft Heinz has withdrawn a $143 billion, $50-per-share offer to acquire Unilever following the U.K.-based company’s rejection of the proposal on the grounds that it “fundamentally undervalued” the company’s sizable portfolio and global clout.
In a joint statement, Kraft Heinz said it “has amicably agreed to withdraw its proposal for a combination of the two companies. Unilever and Kraft Heinz hold each other in high regard,” according to the statement, which went on to note, “Kraft Heinz has the utmost respect for the culture, strategy and leadership of Unilever.”
As PG reported last week, the would-be merged company – which would have combined Kraft Heinz’s vast iconic brands such as Oscar Mayer, Heinz ketchup, Jell-O and Velveeta with Unilever’s Hellman’s, Lipton and Knorr food brands – would have rivaled Nestle as the world’s biggest packaged food maker by sales.
Kraft Heinz, co-headquartered in Chicago and Pittsburgh, is still in the market for acquisitions, according to numerous analysts.
“Kraft Heinz’s interest was made public at an extremely early stage,” company spokesman Michael Mullen was quoted in media reports Sunday. “Our intention was to proceed on a friendly basis, but it was made clear Unilever did not wish to pursue a transaction. It is best to step away early so both companies can focus on their own independent plans to generate value.”