Shares in Unilever (LON:ULVR) have jumped in London in today’s session with investors reacting positively as the company signalled that it is considering a single corporate structure. The blue-chip group has been looking to simplify its structure and unlock value for shareholders in the wake of the failed Kraft Heinz bid earlier this year.
As of 13:39 GMT, Unilever’s share price had jumped 1.95 percent to 4,319.00p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.71 percent higher at 7,436.02 points. The group’s shares have added more than 37 percent to their value over the past year, and are up by some 31 percent in the year-to-date.
Dual structure review
Unilever announced in a statement for its annual investor event this week that it had continued to simplify its capital structure, including the acquisition of its outstanding Dutch preference shares, and that it was also conducting a review of its dual-headed legal structure.
“The Board considers that unification with a single share class would be in the best interests of Unilever and its shareholders as a whole, providing greater ongoing strategic flexibility for value-creating portfolio change,” the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant said in the statement.
The company further noted that following unification, it envisages “one lean, agile corporate centre”. Unilever’s potential decision to abandon either its Rotterdam or London headquarters, however, would come at a sensitive time as the UK looks to negotiate its way out of the European Union.
“I‘m advocating to postpone decisions because it’s a moving playing field – with political turbulence out there,” the FTSE 100 group’s chief executive Paul Polman told the Financial Times. “The emotions of the moment are really the issue.”