Kraft Heinz in talks to buy Unilever; initial offer rejected

SHARE Kraft Heinz in talks to buy Unilever; initial offer rejected
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Kraft Heinz has withdrawn an offer for Unilever. Such a deal would have combined Kraft Heinz products such as Oscar Mayer, Jell-O and Velveeta with Unilever’s stable of brands, which include consumer goods like Dove soap and Vaseline. The merged company would have rivaled Nestle as the world’s biggest packaged food maker by sales.
| Associated Press file photos

NEW YORK — U.S. food giant Kraft Heinz Co. confirmed that it’s made an offer to buy Europe’s Unilever and been rejected.

The company said Friday that talks are ongoing, but that no deal can be assured.

Kraft Heinz, maker of Oscar Mayer meats, Jell-O pudding and Velveeta cheese, said there’s no certainty that it will even make another offer.

Unilever is headquartered in London; its brands include Hellmann’s, Lipton and Knorr.

Kraft Heinz is itself the result of a recent buyout.

Two years ago, H.J. Heinz Co., owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital, announced a $45 billion takeover of Kraft Foods.

Companies like Kraft Heinz and Unilever are trying to catch up to rapidly changing consumer tastes as more people steer clear of processed foods. They are changing up the foods they offer and cutting costs.

Shares of Kraft Heinz and Unilever rose sharply before the opening bell Friday.

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