Shares in Unilever have slumped by 7 per cent after Kraft Heinz withdrew its takeover bid of $US143 billion.
Kraft sought to buy Unilever, merging the two companies into a global consumer goods giant. However, a joint statement released on Sunday revealed that Kraft had “amicably agreed” to pull its offer.
Unilever’s London-listed shares, which rose by 13 per cent to set a record high when the bid was announced on Friday, were down 8 per cent after the withdrawal, while its Dutch-listed shares fell 7 per cent.
Despite the fall in stock prices, analysts and shareholders believed it was unlikely for Unilever to discuss another takeover deal. “A takeover at a later stage seems unlikely to me as Unilever will build their defense and sharpen their focus on profitability,” a major Unilever stockholder told Reuters.
Raphael Moreau, food analyst at Euromonitor said it was unlikely that any other company would be able to handle the acquisition of a company as big as Unilever. “Maybe they realised the price would have been too high to be feasible or that the corporate culture would be too different or too much of a hurdle and that created a long and convoluted process that would ultimately damage both companies,” said Moreau.