Unilever single holding company shares to start trading in December

Consumer goods giant Unilever said simplifying its parent company structure from two UK and Dutch legal entities into a single holding company would conclude in December, when shares in the new firm would start trading.

The Anglo-Dutch maker of Dove soap, Lipton teas and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream said the simplification would be achieved through a UK scheme of arrangement and a Dutch legal merger.

Unilever launched a review of its dual-headed structure in 2017 after fighting off a $143 billion takeover from Kraft Heinz, triggering a battle between Britain and the Netherlands.

In March the group said a new holding company, New Unilever NV, incorporated in the Netherlands, would be listed in London, Amsterdam and, in the form of American depositary shares, in New York.

On Tuesday it published the prospectus for New Unilever NV and the shareholder documentation relating to the simplification.

It said one share in the capital of New Unilever NV would be issued for each share in the Dutch (NV) entity and for each share in the UK (PLC) entity, resulting in shareholdersreceiving shares in the capital of New Unilever NV that represent an equivalent economic interest.

The changes require the approval of shareholders in both entities as well as applicable regulatory consents.

The NV shareholder and depositary receipt holder meetings will take place in Rotterdam on Oct. 25 and the PLC shareholder meetings will take place in London on Oct. 26.

The expected last day of trading in NV and PLC shares will be Dec. 21.

The simplification process is expected to complete over the weekend of 22 and 23 Dec. with dealings in New Unilever NV shares starting on Dec. 24.

Published in Daily Times, September 12th 2018.