Unilever Delays Choosing Between the U.K. and Netherlands for Its Sole Headquarters
Unilever sees a single corporate structure as in the best interests of the company and its shareholders, but has not yet made a decision to pursue one, it said on Tuesday.
The dual-headed, Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group said a single share class would provide “greater ongoing strategic flexibility for value-creating portfolio change.”
After rebuffing a $143 billion takeover offer from Kraft Heinz, Unilever said in April it would review its corporate structure, with an aim to make a decision by the end of the year.
A move to abandon either its Rotterdam or London headquarters would be politically sensitive, especially given Britain’s planned exit from the European Union.
The maker of Dove soap and Knorr soup is hosting an investor event starting on Wednesday and was widely expected to give an update on the review.
Unilever on Tuesday said the review was continuing and the outcome would be announced in due course.
If the company does unify, it would intend to maintain stock market listings in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States, continue to apply both the UK and Dutch corporate governance codes and terminate the preference shares of the Dutch entity it recently bought back, it said.
The company also confirmed its 2017 guidance for underlying sales growth of 3 to 5 percent, an improvement in underlying operating margin of at least 100 basis points and “strong” cash flow delivery.