Unilever - unification complete

Unilever - unification complete

Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever has completed its unification process, it revealed in a statement this morning (30 November) to the London Stock Exchange.

The legal tidying-up exercise means that from today the group will operate under a single parent, Unilever Plc.

For the first time in its history it will trade with one market capitalisation, one class of shares and one global pool of liquidity.

It will, however, maintain its listings on the Amsterdam, London and New York stock exchanges.

Nils Andersen, chairman of Unilever, said: "This is an important day for Unilever and we would like to thank our shareholders for their strong support of our unification proposals, which give us greater flexibility for strategic portfolio change, remove complexity and further improve governance."

Unilever said there will be no change to the operations, locations, activities or staffing levels in either the Netherlands or the UK as a result of unification. 

The headquarters of Unilever's Foods & Refreshment division will continue to be based in Rotterdam and the Home Care and Beauty & Personal Care divisions will continue to be headquartered in the UK.

Realistically, the final hurdle to unification was cleared last month when UK shareholders in the company joined counterparts in the Netherlands in voting to approve the unification of the legal structure of the Marmite and Ben & Jerry's brands owner.

The move was then rubber-stamped by the High Court of Justice in the UK.

Unilever has been owned through two separately listed companies, a Dutch NV and a UK plc, since its formation in 1930 but has operated as a single business unit through "complex agreements between plc and NV to maintain parity between economic rights of the respective shareholders", the company said in a filing with the London Stock Exchange in June, when it confirmed the business was going ahead with the proposed unification plan.