Unilever said on Wednesday that it has started a “comprehensive review” of options to deliver value to shareholders, just days after talks over a potential tie-up with Kraft Heinz fell apart.

The company said that “the events of the last week have highlighted the need to capture more quickly the value we see in Unilever”.

It expects the review to be completed by early April.

Separately, Moody’s Investors Service, the credit ratings company, said on Wednesday that it reckons Unilever may now be considering increasing payouts to shareholders or ramping up its M&A activity with the Kraft-Heinz deal off the table. It noted that Unilever has the “flexibility” to increase shareholder distributions within its A1 rating.

Unilever shares rose to hit 3 per cent higher on the day.

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