Kraft Heinz has abandoned its contentious takeover bid for consumer goods rival Unilever just 55 hours after first tabling a $143bn bid for the business.
Unilever dismissed Friday’s approach out of hand, declaring that it saw no ‘merit, either financial or strategic’ in the tie-up – prompting Kraft Heinz to back-off having considered their options over the weekend.
Both businesses dominate the comsumer goods market with Unilever playing host to well-known brands such as Marmite, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Dove soap. Its American counterpart meanwhile is best known for Heinz baked beans and tomato ketchup.
In a statement Kraft Heinz spokesman Michael Mullen remarked: "Kraft Heinz's interest was made public at an extremely early stage.
"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."
Kraft Heinz is believed to have been warded off by shareholders reluctance to give up their stake in a business generating steady returns and growth, even for a one-off premium of as much as 18%.