Unilever Plunges after Kraft Drops Bid

USA company Kraft Heinz's rapid retreat from its surprise bid for Unilever sent the Anglo-Dutch group's shares down over seven percent on Monday in London and Amsterdam.

"It was always going to be a hard pitch to convince shareholders to relinquish their grip on Unilever, given the expectations for the company to keep churning out resilient growth in the years to come", George Salmon, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.Kraft's decision to pull the deal also removes a political headache for Prime Minister May who has been adamant that Britain should vet foreign takeovers.

Kraft Heinz has abandoned its bid to buy global consumer goods rival Unilever, just 55 hours after its $143bn (£115bn) opening offer was announced.

Kraft Heinz is attempting to buy Unilever in a $143 billion deal that would join the USA maker of cheeses and lunch meats with the European producer of mayo, teas and seasonings in a global food-making powerhouse.

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"Kraft Heinz has the utmost respect for the culture, strategy and leadership of Unilever".

Kraft Heinz is made up of its two original constituent parts - Kraft and Heinz - which between them manufacture a host of well-known products including Heinz tomato ketchup and baked beans, Philadelphia cream cheese, Kraft cheese slices and Capri-Sun juices.

"Kraft Heinz Foods Co". Barshay advised Heinz when it acquired Kraft a year ago in a US$40bn deal.

People familiar with the talks at the weekend said 3G and Berkshire decided Unilever's negative response made a friendly transaction impossible, Bloomberg reported. The spokesperson also added that it was in the best interest of both the companies to "step away" in the initial stages so that they can both channel their energies on autonomous plans "to generate value".

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If such a behemoth eventually came together, the Kraft Heinz-Unilever combination would comprise the third-largest takeover in history, the second-biggest merger across national lines, and the biggest-ever acquisition of a UK-based company.

Unilever's board had insisted on Friday the proposed buyout proposal had "no merit" and "fundamentally undervalued" the business. In addition the aborted bid offer will increase the pressure on Unilever to improve its profit margins.

Bill Ackman, the activist hedge fund investor who owns 5.6 per cent of Mondelez, has repeatedly floated the idea that the maker of Cadbury's chocolate and Trident gum should sell itself to Kraft Heinz.

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