By Anne Steele
Kraft Heinz Co. said Friday it has made a bid to merge with U.K consumer products giant Unilever PLC, a move that would bring together some of the best-known consumer-facing brands in the world.
Kraft Heinz said Unilever has declined the proposal, but that "we look forward to working to reach agreement on the terms of a transaction."
The U.S.-based food and beverage maker said it is uncertain that any further formal proposal will be made to Unilever or that an offer will be made at all. It also said the terms of any such transaction are uncertain.
Shares of Kraft Heinz rose 4.6% premarket in New York. London-listed Unilever shares were trading 12% higher.
A deal would mark the latest wave of consolidation among consumer-goods giants after Heinz in 2015 merged with Kraft in a deal orchestrated by Warren Buffett and Brazilian private-equity firm 3G Capital Partners L.P., creating one of the world's largest food-and-beverage companies. 3G, an acquisitive Brazilian firm, is known for buying consumer companies it considers bloated and aggressively slashing costs.
Unilever, maker of Dove soaps and Axe body sprays, is the world's second-largest consumer-goods firm by sales after Procter & Gamble Co. Sales growth slowed last year, spooking investors and underscoring the cost-cutting pressure that consumer-goods companies face as they struggle to sell more of their staples, from soap to packaged food, around the world.
–Saabira Chaudhuri contributed to this article.
Write to Anne Steele at Anne.Steele@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 17, 2017 07:59 ET (12:59 GMT)
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