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Unilever share price: Top investors demand boardroom shake-up

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Top investors in Unilever (LON:ULVR) are demanding a boardroom shake-up at the consumer goods giant, The Sunday Times has reported. The news comes after the Anglo-Dutch group bowed to investor pressure last week, scrapping its plans to abandon its dual-headed structure and create a single holding company in the Netherlands.

Unilever’s share price has been little changed in London this morning, having inched 0.07 percent higher at 4,056.00p as of 10:27 BST. The stock is outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having fallen into the red and currently trading 0.42 percent lower at 7,287.54 points.

Top investors unhappy

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that several leading Unilever investors had criticised the group’s chairman Marijn Dekkers for allowing the company’s chief executive Paul Polman and finance director Graeme Pitkethly to push for the relocation in the face of opposition from some of the City’s biggest institutions.

Unilever was planning to set up a single holding company based in the Netherlands as part of its simplification efforts in the wake of Kraft Heinz’s failed takeover bid. The plans, however, attracted a lot of opposition from UK shareholders since scrapping the company’s London headquarters would have pulled the company out of the FTSE 100 index, forcing some British institutions to sell their holdings. 

Some investors are now demanding a review of the board for failing to act quickly enough to stop the plans, given the months of growing discontent.

“The primary responsibility lies with the board of directors,” a top-10 investor told The Sunday Times, adding that ‘nothing is off the table’ in terms of the chairman’s role and that a ‘fresh perspective’ was needed in the boardroom.

Analysts on Unilever

Liberum Capital reaffirmed Unilever as a ‘hold’ on Friday, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 4,429.69p.

As of 10:44 BST, Monday, 08 October, Unilever plc share price is 4,054.00p.

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