Unilever (LON:ULVR) has turned to small shareholders for support over its plans to scrap its dual-listed structure and move its headquarters to the Netherlands, the Financial Times has reported. The news comes after it emerged last week that a fourth major UK shareholder had opposed the move which will result in the consumer goods giant losing its place in the benchmark FTSE 100 index.
Unilever’s share price has been little changed in London this morning, having inched 0.1 percent higher to 4,184.00p as of 08:51 BST. The shares are outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having slipped marginally into the red and currently standing 0.06 percent lower at 7,503.04 points.
Unilever turns to small investors
The FT reported yesterday that Unilever’s chairman Marijn Dekkers had urged small UK shareholders to back the company’s proposal to scrap its dual-listed structure and move its headquarters to the Netherlands. He argued that it was the best way to ensure the company’s future competitiveness as the consumer goods industry consolidates. Dekkers further noted that small shareholders should not be spooked by the declarations of prominent fund managers, arguing that the move would force them to sell because the company will no longer be included in the FTSE 100 index.
“Maybe they’ve seen the headlines with some UK shareholders being hurt by the plans, but that doesn’t mean that applies to them,” he told the newspaper in an interview at Unilever’s London office.
His comments come with voting on Unilever’s move having started ahead of key meetings on October 25 and 26.
Analysts on Anglo-Dutch group
JPMorgan Chase & Co, which is ‘neutral’ on Unilever, set a price target of 4,300p on the shares yesterday. According to MarketBeat, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 4,419.69p.