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Heinz tomato ketchup, sweet relish and mustard are seen on display at Costco in Mountain View, Calif., Wednesday, May 27, 2009. Heinz said Thursday, its fourth-quarter profit fell 10 percent as the stronger dollar cut into revenue from overseas markets and restaurant sales fell. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Kraft Heinz withdrew its $143B bid to buy Unilever


Kraft Heinz has withdrawn its $143 billion bid to buy the European consumer products giant Unilever after the company rejected its offer. 

The companies announced the decision in a joint press release Sunday, saying "Kraft Heinz has amicably agreed to withdraw its proposal for a combination of the two companies."

Kraft Heinz initially offered $50 a share when the company announced its bid Friday, according to CNN. Unilever quickly turned down the offer, saying it "undervalues" the company.

Kraft Heinz spokesman Michael Mullen told CNN Kraft's interest in acquiring Unilever was announced at an "extremely early stage."

"Our intention was to proceed on a friendly basis, but it was made clear Unilever did not wish to pursue a transaction," Mullen said in a statement to CNN. "It is best to step away early so both companies can focus on their own independent plans to generate value."

If the merger between Kraft Heinz and Unilever had gone through, it would have been the biggest in the history of the food and beverage industry, CNN reports. That's because the merger would have brought together Kraft Heinz brands like Oscar Mayer, Jell-O and Velveeta and Unilever's Hellman's, Lipton and Knorr.

Analysts say the fact that Kraft Heinz offered a bid for Unilever indicates it is open to acquiring packaged consumer goods because Unilever has personal care brands like Dove soap. 

Kraft Heinz was formed when two companies merged in 2015. The food conglomerate is now backed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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