Sunday 17 October 2021

Unilever says its shares are ‘unlikely’ to remain in the FTSE 100

Anglo-Dutch food to detergent group Unilever said on Thursday the plan to end its dual headquarters structure and relocate to Rotterdam mean its shares are ‘extremely unlikely’ to stay in the British FTSE 100 index.

Chief financial officer Graeme Pitkethly told a conference that while a departure from the  FTSE index would have negative implications for some investors ‘simplification is the right thing for the company and our shareholders as a whole,’ news agency Reuters reported.

Unilever’s shares were likely to have an increased weighting in pan-European indices, while the group would also maintain a premium listing in London, Pitkethly is quoted as saying.

Unilever said in March that it would shift to a single headquarters in the Netherlands, in a move expected to create a handful of jobs in Rotterdam.

Unilever has maintained separate headquarters in Rotterdam and London since it was founded in 1930 but has always operated as a single business with a single board of directors.

Some senior Unilever shareholders are known to be unhappy at the decision to close the London HQ. For the move to go ahead, 75% of UK investors must vote in favour at a meeting to be held in late September.

Unilever also said on Thursday that sales growth in the first half of this year is likely to be below the 3% to 5% target, due in part to strikes by lorry drivers in Brazil.

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