Kraft Heinz has dropped its offer to buy Anglo-Dutch food company Unilever, after the latter it saw “no merit, either financial or strategic” in the $143bn offer.
The companies yesterday (Sunday 19 February) released a joint statement announcing that the US food giant amicably agreed to withdraw its proposal for a combination of the two companies.
“Unilever and Kraft Heinz hold each other in high regard,” said the statement. “Kraft Heinz has the utmost respect for the culture, strategy and leadership of Unilever.”
However, it is rumoured that the bid was rejected as too low, and Kraft Heinz is still in the market for acquisitions, with some speculating it is interested in businesses in the packaged consumer goods space.
The deal would have been one of the biggest in corporate history; however, since the bid was abandoned, Unilever has dragged the London stock market’s FTSE 100 back, with it down two points and dipping into the red.
The company’s market capitalisation has now dropped back to £106bn ($132bn), having hit a record high of £114bn ($142bn) on Friday.
The potential merger will have placed several agency groups on alert.
In September 2015, Starcom won the consolidated Kraft Heinz US media account valued at the time at $600m.
Unilever shifted some regional duties two months later following a global media review, with WPP retaining most of the US, Europe and global markets for planning and buying as well as winning some of central and Eastern Europe from PHD.