Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (PIRC) has advised investors with London-listed shares of Unilever (LON:ULVR) to oppose the group’s plan to create a single holding company in the Netherlands, Reuters has reported. The move marks a blow for the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant which is facing a shareholder rebellion over its plans to scrap its London headquarters.
Unilever’s share price has climbed marginally higher in London this morning, having gained 0.31 percent to 4,213.50p as of 14:32 BST. The shares are marginally underperforming the broader UK market, with the blue-chip FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.62 percent higher at 7,520.53 points.
PIRC advises on Unilever’s plans
Reuters reported today that shareholder advisory body PIRC had flagged concerns about the impact of Unilever’s proposed move to scrap its London headquarters on investors who would be forced to sell their shares.
“The company’s exclusion from the FTSE 100 may compel some shareholders to sell their shares at a price and time that is not of their choosing, effectively resulting in a forced selling decision,” PIRC said in a report. “Ultimately, it could be viewed that the (UK) PLC shareholders are being asked to consent to a takeover without a premium being paid.” The newswire notes, however, that the advisory group has issued separate guidance to holders of the Dutch shares backing the move.
A string of shareholders, including Schroders (LON:SDR), Legal & General (LON:LGEN) and Aviva (LON:AV), have opposed the move.
Votes scheduled for this month
Today’s news comes ahead of votes over Unilever’s simplification plans for October 25 and October 26 in Rotterdam and London, respectively, with approval needed from 75 percent of UK shareholders and 50 percent of Dutch shareholders.