U.S. food and beverage maker says U.K. company declined proposal, but ‘we look forward to working to reach agreement on the terms of a transaction’
Unilever rejected Kraft Heinz’s $143 billion merger offer, but Kraft still has hopes of reaching an agreement. WSJ’s Saabira Chaudhuri has details on Lunch Break. Photo: Reuters
Kraft Heinz Co. made a $143 billion unsolicited bid for Anglo-Dutch rival Unilever PLC, seeking to marry two of the world’s biggest packaged food makers and accelerate an industrywide drive to cut costs amid slowing sales.
Any deal faces significant hurdles, even if Unilever management—which quickly rejected the offer Friday—ultimately comes around. The companies are big players in many of the same markets, so a combination would draw scrutiny by antitrust regulators around the world. It also could face political hurdles in the U.K. and the Netherlands, where Unilever has dual headquarters.
Unilever said the cash and stock offer undervalues the company. Kraft responded that it was committed “to working to reach agreement on the terms of a transaction,” though it said another offer isn’t certain.