Top shareholders in Unilever (LON:ULVR) have warned the consumer goods giant over its possible flight from London, The Sunday Times has reported. The news comes with the Anglo-Dutch group’s directors set to vote in the next few weeks to decide whether to move its headquarters to Rotterdam.
Unilever’s share price rose on Friday, adding 0.59 percent to 3,760.50p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index shedding 7.98 points to end the session 0.11 percent lower at 7,244.41. The group’s shares have lost about 0.3 percent over the past year, largely in line with losses in the Footsie.
London exit warning
The Sunday Times reported yesterday that one leading shareholder in Unilever had warned that any move to the Netherlands would ‘not necessarily’ be good for investors. The newspaper notes that the country has a centuries-old legal structure which acts as a block to foreign takeovers.
If they are going to unify, they should be unified to London,” the investor pointed out. “The rationale is more about takeover protection and the ability to do big M&A deals.”
The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group is currently reviewing its dual-headed legal structure, as it looks to unlock value for shareholders following Kraft Heinz’s failed takeover bid last year.
Another top 10 investor told the newspaper that ‘emotions’ should not be part of Unilever’s decision.
Analysts on Unilever
Goldman Sachs, which sees the Anglo-Dutch group as a ‘sell,’ set a price target on the stock of 3,900p earlier this month, while Beaufort Securities lowered their stance on the company to a ‘hold,’ valuing the shares at 4,330p. According to MarketBeat, Unilever currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 4,396.67p.
The FTSE 100 group recently updated investors on its full-year performance, posting a rise in revenue and profits.