Unilever in­vestor ‘no’ to move

Irish Independent - Business Week - - FRONT PAGE -

UNILEVER faces fur­ther op­po­si­tion to its move from Lon­don to Rot­ter­dam as an­other share­holder sig­nalled its in­ten­tion to vote against the plan.

Royal Lon­don As­set Man­age­ment has joined a cho­rus of in­vestors in op­pos­ing the pro­posal, which will see the Ben & Jerry’s owner scrap its An­glo-Dutch dual list­ing and re­lo­cate its HQ to the Nether­lands.

“Many UK Unilever share­hold­ers vot­ing for the up­com­ing res­o­lu­tion are ef­fec­tively vot­ing for forced divest­ment of their hold­ing,” said Mike Fox, head of sus­tain­able in­vest­ments at Royal Lon­don As­set Man­age­ment.

“Unilever might be able to con­vince Euro­pean share­hold­ers that the move makes sense for the com­pany and for them as in­vestors in the long-term, but it’s hard for a UK in­vestor to see an in­cen­tive to vote in favour.

“We think that Unilever is a high-qual­ity com­pany, both in its own right and as a key con­stituent of a num­ber of UK in­dices, and have there­fore de­cided to vote against the res­o­lu­tion.”

The as­set man­ager owns 0.72pc of Unilever, worth about £360m.

A num­ber of share­hold­ers have come out against the move, set­ting up a show­down when in­vestors vote on the plans on Oc­to­ber 25 and 26.

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