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Mondelez shares dropped 5 per cent in early trading on Friday after Kraft Heinz’s approach for Unilever lessened the odds that the US group would be an acquisition target.

Speculation of a potential take-over by Kraft of Mondelez was a “key factor supporting multiples for the group at such a high level,” said Stifel Nicolaus analyst Christopher Growe.

“While this potential transaction (between Kraft and Unilever) does not count out a future acquisition … it certainly delays the potential at least a couple years,” he said.

Mondelez trades at 20.6 times expected earnings over the next 12 months, a premium to 19.9 times for the S&P 500 food products industry group, and 18.1 times for the broader S&P 500, according to Bloomberg data.

Mr Growe added that Kellogg, General Mills and Campbell Soup — all of which compete in the same sector — could also come under pressure as investors mull over the potential Kraft-Unilever deal.

Kellogg was down 1.9 per cent in pre-market trading, while Campbell Soup shed 1.8 per cent. General Mills suffered a steeper fall of 4.6 per cent after it issued a profit warning.

Kraft said early on Friday that it had made a $143bn takeover offer for Unilever, which would place it among the biggest deals in corporate history and would have significant ramifications for the sector.

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