It is a battle of giants that begins in the consumer goods sector. On Friday, 17 February, Unilever officially rejected Kraft Heinz's advances, which had offered him a $ 143 billion (€ 134 billion) buyout offer. The Anglo-Dutch group considers that this proposal "underestimates it fundamentally" and that it presents "no advantage, be it financial or strategic."

Kraft Heinz may increase its offer

Kraft Heinz does not admit to being beaten. "We hope to conclude an agreement on the terms of a deal," said the US food giant. Under UK law, it now has 30 days to file an offer, friendly or hostile.

In order to succeed, the group will "most certainly increase its offer substantially," predicts David Palmer, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, who points out that the proposed premium (18% compared to the closing price on Thursday, February 16) Is not high enough. If successful, it would be the third largest M & A transaction in history.

Euromonitor, Unilever, and Kraft Heinz have occupied the third, fourth and fifth positions respectively in the food products industry and these three may have more to do with their suppliers and customers, including Walmart, Carrefour, Asda, and Rewe. The deal would also allow the American company to grow outside the United States, where it generated 70% of its sales last year with Heinz ketchup, Philadelphia cheese trays or Maxwell soluble coffee.

Conversely, 57% of Unilever's sales were made in emerging markets.

Unilever may have won the battle with Kraft Heinz

The new ensemble would be a very variegated group. Unilever, which manufactures Knorr soup, Hellmann's mayonnaise and Eskimo Magnum, is also a mastodon of cleaning products, with its Omo brand and Cif detergents.

And the Rotterdam manufacturer is one of the leaders in hygiene and beauty products, accounting for almost half of its turnover. Unilever is thus a significant competitor of L'Oréal and Procter & Gamble in the cream, shampoo and deodorant markets thanks to the Dove, Rexona and Sunsilk ranges.