Unilever has formally rejected a $143 billion takeover offer from Kraft Heinz, a mega deal that would possibility create one of the world’s second largest consumer goods company behind market leader Nestlé S.A. The deal would have seen some of Unilever’s iconic food and beverages brands like Hellmann’s, Knorr and Lipton join Kraft Heinz’ list of power brands.
If the transaction eventually transpires, it would be the second largest food and beverage merger/acquisition since last year’s $105 billion mega merger of beer powerhouses Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller in 2016.
According to a statement from Kraft Heinz: “Kraft Heinz confirms that it has made a comprehensive proposal to Unilever about combining the two groups to create a leading consumer goods company with a mission of long-term growth and sustainable living. While Unilever has declined the proposal, we look forward to working to reach agreement on the terms of a transaction. There can be no certainty that any further formal proposal will be made to the Board of Unilever or that an offer will be made at all or as to the terms of any transaction."
This deal is part of Heinz’ mission to expand its global footprint in the CPG market, most notably in the food and beverage sector. In 2015, Heinz and Kraft Food entered into a nearly $36 billion monster deal that formed the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest in the world. The company now operates under the Kraft Heinz moniker.