Kraft Heinz’s has called off its proposed takeover of Unilever, just two days after the US$143 billion bid was announced.
The US company released a statement on Sunday revealing that the deal would not go any further, confounding expectations that Kraft would return with a better offer after Unilever resoundingly rejected its opening bid.
“Unilever and Kraft Heinz hereby announce that Kraft Heinz has amicably agreed to withdraw its proposal for a combination of the two companies,” the statement said.
“Unilever and Kraft Heinz hold each other in high regard. Kraft Heinz has the utmost respect for the culture, strategy and leadership of Unilever.”
Kraft announced the takeover bid on Friday, simultaneously revealing that Unilever had turned down its initial offer, but Kraft “looked forward to working to reach agreement on the terms of a transaction”.
Unilever then released a sharp rebuke against the very notion of Kraft’s bid, saying the deal had “no merit, strategic or financial” and that it "does not see the basis for any further discussions".
Under UK merger rules, Kraft’s withdrawal of its bid means it cannot enter into takeover discussions again with Unilever for six months.