Unilever sets November date to unify in UK
Unilever expects to complete its unification in November after shareholders in the Netherlands vote in September on a cross-border merger to make the company a UK Plc.
The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company announced in June that it would unify its legal structure in the UK, reversing a failed attempt to consolidate in the Netherlands two years earlier.
Under the plan shareholders of the Dutch NV company will receive one Plc share for each of their shares. The move will end 90 years of the company's dual listing in Amsterdam and London.
On Monday Unilever said Dutch shareholders would vote on the plan at an extraordinary meeting on 21 September in Rotterdam with UK shareholders voting on 12 October. Unification is scheduled to complete over the weekend of 21 and 22 November, meaning the last day of trading for Unilever NV shares will be 20 November.
The FTSE 100 company said it would bring forward the timetable for its third-quarter dividend to announce the dividend on 22 October and make the payment on 20 November. The ex-dividend date will be 29 October instead of 5 November.
The maker of Dove soap, Marmite and Magnum ice creams surprised investors with the plan to consolidate in the UK after a botched attempt to become a Dutch company in 2018. Unilever said the move would simplify its governance structure and make equity-based acquisitions and disposals easier.
The company was already considering selling various businesses before the Covid-10 crisis, which shifted consumer behaviour during months of economic lockdown. UK shareholders rebelled against the proposed consolidation in the Netherlands, forcing Unilever to cancel the move.
Unilever has had its two-country structure for 90 years after the UK's Lever Brothers merged with a Dutch margarine company. It published a circular on Monday and said a prospectus for Unilever Plc would be published later that day.
"Shareholders of Unilever NV and Unilever Plc are encouraged to read the circular and prospectus in full," Unilever said.