Unilever has rejected a takeover offer bid of $143bn (£115bn) from US food giant Kraft Heinz as it saw no merit in the merger and “fundamentally undervalues” the Anglo-Dutch company.
The consumer goods giant had been offered $50 per share which is a premium of 18%. Shares in the company surged more than 11% on the news.
Unilever commented: “This fundamentally undervalues Unilever. Unilever rejected the proposal as it sees no merit, either financial or strategic, for Unilever’s shareholders. Unilever does not see the basis for any further discussions.”
Analysts believe that the offer was Kraft testing the water and they would return with another offer.
If the deal was to happen it would be one of the biggest in corporate history and also likely to be scrutinised by the competition regulators.