Pressure spreads to block Unilever move | City & Business | Finance



LGIM has been a “supportive shareholder” for 25 years and holds a 2.28 per cent stake in the Marmite and Persil owner. 

It joins the list of leading Unilever shareholders including Aviva Investors, M&G Investments and Lindsell Train in speaking out against the company’s plan to scrap its dual Anglo-Dutch structure and have its sole HQ in Rotterdam. 

Its shares will continue to trade in London as well as Amsterdam and New York, but it will lose its FTSE 100 status. 

Unilever insists the plan has nothing to do with Brexit. 

LGIM director of corporate governance Sacha Sadan said: “We have asked the company to ensure that any approach safeguards the ability of our clients to maintain their investment and benefit from Unilever’s continued success. 

“We have also worked with the Investor Forum to engage collectively with other investors. We understand Unilever has explored a number of alternatives in reaching its final decision, However, we do not believe it has made a compelling case for many PLC shareholders to support the recommendation in favour of Dutch incorporation.” 

Unilever declined to comment on speculation that investor anger could translate into shareholder revolts at next year’s annual meeting, including opposing the re-election of chairman Marijn Dekkers. 

It said: “We have held around 200 meetings with shareholders over the last six months and believe the overall benefits of simplification have been widely understood. We are aware that a certain group of shareholders have expressed concern about our proposals. We will continue to engage with shareholders to discuss our plans.” 

The Investor Forum said: “Members have escalated concerns and the Forum has engaged with the company.”


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