The firm wants to incorporate in the Netherlands, but UK shareholders have a duty to make their voice heard
About time too. UK fund managers who will decide whether Unilever can go Dutch are starting to stir. David Cumming, the chief investment officer for equities at Aviva Investors, says his group will vote against the proposal. To encourage others to rebel, he adds that it’s hard to see any advantage in Unilever’s plan for any UK shareholder, which is a reasonable stance.
Everybody understands by now Unilever’s reasons for wanting to abandon its current Anglo-Dutch structure and incorporate in the Netherlands: it thinks deal-making and capital-raising would be easier without two classes of share, which is probably true. The problem is the effect of the revamp on UK funds.