Unilever shares are tanking after Kraft Heinz killed its mega-merger bid
Shares in Unilever are tanking on Monday after fellow consumer goods giant Kraft Heinz terminated a takeover bid for the firm on Sunday.
Kraft, which is backed by the legendary investor Warren Buffett, confirmed that it had made an approach to take over Unilever after the Financial Times Alphaville blog had reported it earlier in the day. Unilever rejected the bid the same day.
“Unilever and Kraft Heinz hereby announce that Kraft Heinz has amicably agreed to withdraw its proposal for a combination of the two companies,” the companies said in a statement on Sunday.
“Unilever and Kraft Heinz hold each other in high regard. Kraft Heinz has the utmost respect for the culture, strategy and leadership of Unilever.”
Unilever’s stock had rocketed on the news of the merger bid, gaining around 13% in UK trade on Friday, but with any chance of a deal now dead in the water, shares have reversed course, and by 10.45 a.m. GMT (5.45 a.m. ET) are lower by roughly 7%, having dropped as much as 8% in the first half hour of trade.
Here’s how shares looked just before 8.30 a.m. GMT:
In the broader equity markets, the FTSE 100 is higher by 0.08%, with Royal Bank of Scotland and Rolls-Royce leading the way, up by 5.2% and 4.5% respectively. Gains on the index would be significantly higher were it not for the big drag that Unilever is providing to the bourse.
Stocks across Europe are broadly higher, “after US bourses closed positive on Friday and despite a mixed session in Asia overnight,” according to Mike van Dulken of Accendo Markets.
Here is the scoreboard: