Unilever has said that it wants to raise its stake in Hindustan Unilever, its listed Indian subsidiary.

The company holds a 52.48% share in Hindustan Unilever and the group hopes to raise that to 75%. This is the maximum level of investment that Unilever can hold under Indian securities and exchange rules while maintaining Hindustan Unilever’s public listing.

Unilever has offered INR292.2bn (US$5.44bn) for the 22.52% stake it hopes to take. This represents a premium of around 26% on the Indian business’s trading average in the month prior to Unilever’s announcement.

The offer period is likely to begin in June, the company said.

“This represents a further step in Unilever’s strategy to invest in emerging markets and offers a liquidity opportunity at what we believe to be an attractive premium for existing shareholders,” Unilever CEO Paul Polman said.

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