Update: Kraft Heinz officially withdrew its offer on Sunday, February 19.
Kraft Heinz today announced a proposed a massive $143 billion merger with Unilever. The deal between the food and beverage industry’s 11th and 12th biggest companies would have produced a new #3.
But Unilever declined, saying in a statement that the company “sees no merit, either financial or strategic, for Unilever’s shareholders.” The company also shut down the possibility of a future deal, saying “Unilever does not see the basis for any further discussions.”
For its part, Kraft is still holding out hope. According to their statement, “while Unilever has declined the proposal, we look forward to working to reach agreement on the terms of a transaction.”
Will the merger move forward? Analysts say it might be too soon to tell. Jonathan Feeney of Consumer Edge Research told CNBC: “It certainly sounds like a typical opening salvo of a merger approach. It’s hard to tell at this point what’s actually friendly and unfriendly. Often times it’s standard procedure.”
So, while it looks like Kraft Heinz Unilever won’t be a thing for now, don’t count it out for the future.