British investors could be forced to sell their shares in Unilever


  • Shareholders will be sent documents about the proposed changes
  • Earlier this year Unilever announced plans to move its HQ to Rotterdam 

Jane Denton For Thisismoney

Investors in Unilever could be forced to sell their shares as the group’s chief finance boss confirmed it is ‘extremely unlikely’ to remain in the FTSE 100 index.

The move comes after the consumer goods giant announced plans to call time on its Anglo-Dutch structure and shift its headquarters to the Netherlands.

Speaking at a conference, Graeme Pitkethly, Unilever’s chief finance officer, said the group was ‘engaging extensively’ with the FTSE Russell, which is the FTSE’s governing body, over plans to simplify its business.

On the move: Unilever is unlikely to stay in the FTSE 100 index

On the move: Unilever is unlikely to stay in the FTSE 100 index

On the move: Unilever is unlikely to stay in the FTSE 100 index

With no headquarters in the UK, however, it is unlikely that the company with meet the eligibility requirements for a FTSE 100 listed company. 

‘From this it is clear that it is extremely unlikely that the ‘New NV’ shares after simplification will be included in the FTSE UK series,’ Mr Pitkethly said.

He added: ‘Consequently our weighting in the pan-European indices will be increased.’

Unilever’s shares would still be traded on the London Stock Exchange, but no longer be listed on the main benchmark index.

The decision to remove Unilever from the FTSE 100 index is yet to be confirmed and the group has to send out official documents to shareholders about the proposed changes.

It is possible Unilever could be removed from the FTSE 100 index by the end of the year. 

Unilever’s share price is down 3.58 per cent or 148.5p to 4,001p. 

Taking a dip: Unilever's share price is down 3.58 per cent or 148.50p to 4,001.50p

Taking a dip: Unilever's share price is down 3.58 per cent or 148.50p to 4,001.50p

Taking a dip: Unilever’s share price is down 3.58 per cent or 148.50p to 4,001.50p

In March, Unilever announced plans to move its headquarters from London to Rotterdam. 

Investors are yet to vote on the move, but the company’s chief executive, Paul Polman, has encouraged them to vote in favour of the proposal at an extraordinary meeting expected to be held in the third quarter. 

Unilever’s announcement to move its headquarters was seen as a major blow to the UK Government as it battles to uphold the country’s status as a stronghold for business after Brexit.

The company’s strategy changes were ramped up after it fended off a $143billion hostile takeover bid from US food giant Kraft in February last year. Later in the year, Kraft announced it was no longer interested in making a further bid for the group. 

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