(Repeats story from late on Monday)
By Dasha Afanasieva
LONDON Feb 20 Kraft Heinz's dropped bid
to buy Unilever is the third-largest M&A deal to
collapse, according to Thomson Reuters data, adding to a recent
run of failures that highlights the appetite for the pursuit of
The abrupt U-turn by U.S. foods giant Kraft at the weekend
pushed the value of deals withdrawn this year to $205.2 billion,
compared with $53.6 billion at the same point in 2016.
The effect of proposed big deals on those numbers is clear,
with the 87 deals to have collapsed this year significantly
lower than the 111 that fell through in the corresponding period
The value of failed deals is likely to continue, bankers
say, with companies still likely to seek ambitious acquisitions.
"There has been no punishment by the market or investors if
a deal does not close. The overall context has been shareholder
support for trying to get deals done and that has been an engine
of growth in the M&A market," said Severin Brizay, head of M&A
for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Swiss bank UBS
Kraft had pursued Unilever as part of its strategy to become
a global consumer goods giant, but it received a hostile
reception from the Anglo-Dutch company and cited a lack of
"strategic" merit for its withdrawal from a deal that would have
had a value of $162.2 billion based on the offer price plus
Yet the complexity of such huge deals can throw up multiple
The biggest withdrawn deal came last April when U.S.
drugmaker Pfizer's attempt to buy Ireland-based Allergan
for $160 billion floundered on the introduction of U.S.
Treasury rules to curb tax-cutting inversion deals.
Honeywell International's attempt to buy United
Technologies for $90.7 billion ended in failure last February
after United Tech rejected the deal on expectations that it
would be blocked by antitrust regulators.
Those helped to lift the value of withdrawn deals last year
to an eight-year high, with transactions worth $808 billion
withdrawn or rejected, compared with $538 billion in 2015.
Another to fall by the wayside on competition concerns was
the proposed $6.3 billion merger of office supply chain Staples
with smaller rival Office Depot.
"When you are No.1 and No.2 in your sector it's difficult
for the regulator to approve," said Raj Karia, of global
corporate and financial law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.
Thomson Reuters classifies a deal as withdrawn if there is a
public announcement by the buyer that the offer is withdrawn or
financial and legal advisers agree that it has been withdrawn.
(Editing by David Goodman)