Belfast Telegraph

Unilever review after takeover bid failure

By Ben Woods

Marmite and PG Tips owner Unilever is launching a "comprehensive review" in a bid to deliver more value to shareholders after Kraft Heinz's failed takeover attempt.

The Anglo-Dutch firm said Kraft Heinz's proposed $143bn (£115bn) approach underscored the need to "capture more quickly" the value in the consumer goods firm.

In a statement, the company said it expects the review to be completed by early April.

"Unilever is conducting a comprehensive review of options available to accelerate delivery of value for the benefit of our shareholders", it said.

"The events of the last week have highlighted the need to capture more quickly the value we see in Unilever".

Shares in Unilever jumped following news of the review, trading 3% higher on the London Stock Exchange.

It comes after the two companies issued a joint statement on Sunday in which Kraft Heinz said it had "amicably agreed'' to withdraw its proposal.

Unilever had issued a strongly-worded rebuttal on Friday after the Chicago-based company tabled an offer representing an 18% premium on Unilever's closing share price on February 16.

If successful, the deal would have been the biggest acquisition of a British company on record.

Kraft Heinz brands include Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Philadelphia cheese, while Unilever owns staples such as Hellmann's mayonnaise and Colman's mustard.

The tie-up was expected to meet political opposition, with Theresa May said to have asked officials to look at the deal before it was abandoned. Mrs May vowed last year to devise a "proper industrial strategy'' to defend UK companies from being snapped up by foreign firms.

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