Unilever firm over pref conversion

Unilever has denied misleading investors over the conversion of preference shares in 2004 and said in a statement that it will defend itself in any further legal action.

On Friday, the Amsterdam company court published the results of its inquiry into the case, and concluded that Unilever had not provided adequate information to shareholders when it said it would convert preference shares into common stock.
However, Unilever said it had ‘a different interpretation of the facts’ to the company court. It has named a special commission under former KPN boss Wim Dik to conclude the case, and will ‘defend itself’ in any further court cases.The case revolves around preference shares issued in 1999, which Unilever said that it planned to convert into common shares in 2004. The price of the prefs then fell 20%. But the shareholders’ lobby VEB claims Unilever had always given the impression it would repurchase the preference shares at 6.58 each. A further court case is now likely.
Property company Prologis European Properties is planning to launch on the Amsterdam stock exchange at the end of this month. PEPR is a unit of the Wall Street-listed Prologis.

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