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Kraft withdraws offer to merge with Unilever

Feb 19 (Reuters) - Kraft Heinz Co has agreed to withdraw its proposal for a $143 billion merger with larger rival Unilever Plc, the companies said on Sunday.

U.S.-based Kraft had made a surprise offer for Unilever in a bid to build a global consumer goods behemoth, although it was flatly rejected on Friday by Unilever, the maker of Lipton tea and Dove soap.

(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)