UK – Leading consumer goods company with British and Dutch origins Unilever has completed the unification of its group legal structure, and will now operate under a single parent company, Unilever PLC.
This will be the first time the company will be operating under a single entity since its formation in 1930.
Throughout the years, it has operated as two separated listed companies, a Dutch NV (nameless venture) and a UK PLC (Public Limited Company).
Over the last two decades, the dual parent holding company structure has been reviewed periodically by the board in an effort to make the company’s leadership effective and responsive to evolving administration demands.
In 2018, the board made a step towards unification, announcing a proposal of unifying its corporate structure under a new Dutch holding company. The proposal was however withdrawn in October of the same year.
However, in June this year, Unilever announced plans to unify its structure to a UK listed company, in order to create a simpler company with greater strategic flexibility.
Unilever chairman, Nils Andersen had then said that the unification will give the company “greater flexibility for strategic portfolio change, remove complexity and further improve governance.”
According to a report by FoodBev, the cross-border merger which will see Unilever NC merge into Unilever PLC has already been approved by the UK High Court and will commence immediately.
Following the merger, Unilever will now trade with one market capitalisation, one class of shares and one global pool of liquidity.
However, it will maintain the group’s listings on the Amsterdam, London and New York stock exchanges, where Unilever PLC shares will commence today.
The owner of leading food brands such as Lipton tea, Knorr, and Hellmann’s says there will be no effect to the operations, locations, activities or staffing levels in either the Netherlands or the UK as a result of the unification.
The headquarters of Unilever’s foods and refreshment division will continue to be based in Rotterdam, along with the €85 million Food Innovation centre in Wageningen.
Meanwhile, Unilever’s home care and beauty & personal care divisions will continue to be headquartered in the UK.
The news also comes after Unilever announced a new annual global sales target of €1 billion from plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, within the next five to seven years.
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