Schroders (LON:SDR) has become the latest Unilever (LON:ULVR) shareholder to signal plans to vote down the consumer giant’s proposal to scrap its London headquarters, City A.M. reports. While the move is part of the Anglo-Dutch giant’s simplification plans intended to unlock value for shareholders, it will see the company lose its spot in the benchmark FTSE 100 index.
Unilever’s share price has fallen into the red in today’s session, having given up 1.32 percent to 4,171.50p as of 09:50 BST. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.60 percent lower at 7,450.53 points.
Schroders to vote down Dutch move
City A.M. reported yesterday that Schroders had said that it would vote down the company’s plans to relocate its headquarters to the Netherlands.
“We understand the company’s desire for simplification but we do not believe this is the right decision for Unilever shareholders,” Schroders global head of stewardship Jessica Ground said, as quoted by the newswire, adding that the fund manager had previously expressed “concerns about the moves in the Netherlands towards protectionism, which undermines shareholder rights”.
She further pointed out that the move meant that the fund manager’s “clients will be forced sellers of Unilever as a result of it exiting the FTSE UK Indices”. Schroders joins a growing number of shareholders in the consumer goods giant, including Aviva (LON:AV) and Legal & General (LON:LGEN), which have signalled that they will vote down the group’s plans. Unilever meanwhile has turned to small shareholders for support, arguing that they should not be spooked by the declarations of prominent fund managers.
Analysts on consumer goods giant
Jefferies, which rates Unilever as a ‘neutral,’ set a price target of 4,590p on the shares today. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 4,426.56p.