Kraft Heinz Co. has withdrawn its offer for a US$143 billion merger with Unilever Plc., according to a joint announcement from the two companies on Sunday.
Kraft, the US-based food giant, abandoned its plan for the Anglo-Dutch rival as it felt it was too difficult to negotiate a deal following the public disclosure of its bid so soon after its approach, Reuters reports.
Kraft had not expected to encounter the resistance it received from Unilever, according to the report.
Some key concerns raised during talks included potential UK government scrutiny, as well as differences between the companies’ cultures and business models.
“Kraft Heinz’s interest was made public at an extremely early stage,” Kraft Heinz spokesman Michael Mullen was quoted as saying in a statement.
“Our intention was to proceed on a friendly basis, but it was made clear Unilever did not wish to pursue a transaction. It is best to step away early so both companies can focus on their own independent plans to generate value.”
Kraft was forced to publicly disclose its offer on Friday to comply with Britain’s takeover regulations, after rumors of its approach to Unilever circulated among stock traders.
Under UK takeover rules, Kraft’s public withdrawal of its offer precludes it from reviving takeover talks with Unilever for six months.
A combination of the two firms would have marked the third-biggest takeover in history and the largest acquisition of a UK-based firm, according to Reuters.
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