2017-02-17 —

It is a surprise that Kraft Heinz has set its sights on Unilever, one of Europe's largest conglomerates, with brands ranging from Axe deodorant to Hellmann's mayonnaise, Dove soap, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, SunSilk razor blades and Sun dishwasher fluid. But this may be a savvy maneuver. Not only would a deal avoid the wrath of Trump, it also takes advantage of the sharply tumbling euro and British pound in the wake of Brexit, and a strengthening U.S. dollar.


Friday's fireworks sets the stage for a takeover process that may unfold over a matter of months. Kraft Heinz has until mid-March to make a formal bid for Unilever. Its backers 3G Capital is familiar with large and hostile cross-border deals. In October, 3G-backed Anheuser Busch completed a takeover of SAB Miller in what was one of Europe's biggest-ever corporate mergers.

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