Oct 5, 2018
Unilever ignored big UK investors for too long
For a consumer goods company that prides itself on listening to its customers, Unilever was strangely deaf to growing British investor displeasure over its proposals to scrap its dual UK-Dutch stock market listing. The dual listing makes it difficult for Unilever to issue new shares to fund a takeover, for example of a large US personal care group. The issue is that Unilever's plan would have seen it drop out of the FTSE 100 index, forcing UK funds that track the index, and many active funds, to sell their stock. The Dutch premier, Mark Rutte, a former Unilever manager, worked hard to woo the business. While Unilever has always denied its plans were linked to Brexit, that is now less than six months away.
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