Unilever, the world-leading consumer goods giant, is currently grabbing headlines on account of some of major UK investors reportedly planning to pressurize the company to drop the idea of getting rid of its dual headquarters, in a move to support the Netherlands.
Reportedly, Unilever, which is the producer of renowned products such as Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream and the Dove soap, had backed off in spite of a revolt by the company’s UK investors last year in October. However, in January this year the company revealed in a public statement that it was still contemplating on the idea of abandoning its Anglo-Dutch structure. The company had also added that it could facilitate deal-making as well as simplify its operations, provided it turned into a solo legal entity.
Sources with the knowledge of the matter stated that several UK investors were seen contradicting the move by the consumer goods giant, as it would lead them to sell all of their shares. Many others disputed the company’s strategic rationale.
Mirza Baig, the Global Head of Governance, Aviva Investors, which is also the twentieth biggest investor in the PLC shares, was reportedly quoted saying that the aforementioned strategy is still present within the company and it still considers it to be right for their business.
It has been reported that a top-10 investor had wanted to raise the topic at the AGN (annual general meeting) held on May 2, even though the company may not make a fresh move unless its way is free from political uncertainties caused due to Brexit and the European elections. Sources further reported that currently there is presence of political tensions on the path of any fresh attempt to be taken, both in the Netherlands and Britain.
In January this year, at the full-year results of the company, Unilever’s Chief Executive Alan Jope pronounced the issue as an important one, but at the same time, said that it is not quite urgent.
No further comments have been provided by the company’s spokespersons.