Some big bonus payouts just vanished
Blue chip advisers in the City of London could have reaped a fee bonanza of more than US$200m from Kraft Heinz’s US$143bn approach for Anglo-Dutch household goods group Unilever.
The deal would have been larger than AB InBev’s US$110bn takeover of fellow brewer SAB Miller, completed last year. That would have been another coup for Lazard, which was lead adviser to AB InBev. That deal brought in an estimated US$123m in fees for Lazard, and US277m for all the financial advisers on the deal.
But this Kraft Heinz deal ain't now gonna be done.
Bloomberg News reports that Kraft Heinz's bid for Unilever collapsed just two days after it became public knowledge, with the adamance of the Anglo-Dutch target’s rejection said to play into billionaire Warren Buffett’s longtime aversion to hostile deals.
The decision not to pursue what could have been the largest-ever takeover in the food and beverage industry came after 3G Capital and Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, which together own about half of Kraft Heinz, decided that Unilever’s negative response made a friendly transaction impossible, leaving no choice but to walk away, people with knowledge of the situation said.
Both also believed that a protracted war of words wasn’t in the best interest of Kraft and would risk souring future deal opportunities, the people said, asking not to be named because the process was private.
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