U.S. food giant Kraft may have withdrawn its hostile offer for Unilever late Sunday but some analysts say that the European consumer goods group should not breathe a sigh of relief just yet.
While U.K. takeover law forbids Kraft from revisiting the offer for the whole of Unilever within the next six months, analysts at Citi think there are other options available to the owner of widely popular Kraft cheese sticks and Heinz tomato ketchup.
"Such release rules out a hostile offer on the whole company, but the careful wording still leaves room in our view for any type of agreed transaction in the future, which may not necessarily be for the whole group but for instance for the Food and Refreshments business (if both parties agree), making this unexpected event a potential agent of change for the Unilever portfolio," say the research team at Citi in a note published on Monday.
Indeed, the story is "far from over", according to Daniel Lacalle, Chief Investment Officer (CIO) at asset manager Tressis Gestion, speaking on CNBC's Squawk Box.
"I don't see how the company remains independent in the next five years," he added.
Lacalle was speaking prior to the start of trade in Europe on Monday and advised investors to "run away like there's no tomorrow" if they believed that Kraft had truly abandoned its pursuit of Unilever – timely advice given the stock price plummeted by more than 8 percent as soon as European markets opened at 8am London time (3am EST). The share price had run up over 13 percent when news of the takeover attempt broke last Friday.