Mar 22, 2018
Unilever shareholders speak out over London delisting fears
Columbia Threadneedle Investments on Thursday fired a warning shot at the group's "Lack of engagement" with shareholders, especially with regard to "The likely impact on its premium listing and index inclusion in London". Iain Richards, head of responsible investment at Columbia Threadneedle, said that since Unilever has to have the agreement of 75 per cent of its UK investors, "They need to do more to convince UK shareholders of the merits of the move". Another shareholder, which did not wish to be identified, said it too was "Unhappy" and said it might vote against the decision were it to entail Unilever falling out of the FTSE 100 index. Graeme Pitkethly, finance director, said last week that Unilever would talk to the FTSE 100 index providers and urged shareholders to do the same. Unilever decided to review its shareholder structure after the shock of last year's $143bn takeover bid from 3G Capital-backed Kraft Heinz of the US. It said last week it would dismantle its near-century old structure of two parent companies of a Dutch NV in Rotterdam and a UK plc in London, arguing that simplification was in the interests of shareholders.
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