Let’s start the bidding at £115bn, says Kraft Heinz to Unilever.
It would have been the second largest merger of 2 businesses in history – if it hadn’t been rejected out of hand.
Unilever, makers of Colmans’ mustard, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and beloved / hated Marmite, said “thanks but no thanks” when Kraft Heinz came calling, offering $30.23 dollars in cash, per share, for its collection of best-selling, household name brands-with-advertising-jingles.
But the baked bean / Tommy K producer, who see the merger as a chance to become “a leading consumer goods company with a mission of long-term growth and sustainable living” (because they are not that already?!), and add some more food and personal care brands to go with its packaged foods (and just about everything else under the sun) portfolio, are not giving up however.
Like all good multi-national corporations, they barely flinched when their mega-offer was immediately rejected out of hand; “While Unilever has declined the proposal, we look forward to working to reach agreement on the terms of a transaction”, they said, with all of the modesty of an empire backed by “The Sage of Omaha”, Warren Buffett, and hard as nails Brazilian Private Equity group 3G Capital, needs to have.
“Erm, apart from entrepreneurial self-aggrandisement, what is the actual value in this deal?” asked most analysts, before wishing they had backed Unilever shares, which shot to all-time highs of £37.97 on news of the approach – a gain of 449.5 pence since the news entered the public domain.
But relax, Dove-soap and Flora margarine lovers, for the deal is simply just too big, and unnecessary, to ever get off the ground, right. Right?
Well, it actually makes a little bit of sense, because, see, despite their megalithic sizes, Kraft Heinz and Unilever do not have many products is common. Sure, Kraft Heinz has a few food products it may have to dump to push the deal through, but not as many as you might think.
And the thing about people like Warren Buffett is, they have a frightening knack of getting what they want. This is because the idea of owning a marmite factory does not float the average person’s boat in quite the same way as it does the “Sage”’s, who as we all know, loves a “good deal”.
Tsk, Americans and their “deals” ‘eh. If it’s not the now POTUS buying vast tracts of Scotland to build golf course on, it’s one of the world’s most successful investors of all time, teaming up with some PE bad-asset-strippers.
And we’re sure we don’t have to tell you this, but none of this would have been possible without Brexit driving the price of the pound to artificially measly levels.
There’s a multi-national fire sale going on in this country, peeps, and The Japanese, the Chinese and the Americans are all invited. Anyone actually – oh, except Europe.
Welcome to the brave new world. Soon Heathrow will be playing host to the biggest car-boot sale in history. Whether we like it, or no.