February 17, 2017 9:45 pm JST

Kraft Heinz to pursue merger despite Unilever rejection

LONDON (Reuters) -- U.S. food company Kraft Heinz Co has proposed a merger with Unilever , but the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company has declined, Kraft said on Friday.

"Kraft confirms that it has made a comprehensive proposal to Unilever about combining the two groups to create a leading consumer goods company with a mission of long-term growth and sustainable living," Kraft said in a statement.

"While Unilever has declined the proposal, we look forward to working to reach agreement on the terms of a transaction."

Unilever spokeswomen did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Kraft said a further statement would be made as appropriate.

Unilever shares jumped as much as 14 percent to a record high. They were up 11 percent at 37.37 pounds at 1220 GMT, valuing the company at over 100 billion pounds ($124 billion). ($1 = 0.8051 pounds)

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