Legal & General, one of the largest asset managers in Europe, will vote against Unilever’s “Marmite” plan, which will close the store in the UK and move to the Netherlands.
The Anglo-Dutch consumer giant, known for owning hundreds of brands, including Dove, Ben & Jerry’s and Knorr, announced earlier this year its intention to leave the UK to unify its corporate structure with a seat unique in Rotterdam.
L & G explained its rather unusual decision to announce its voting intentions a few weeks before the Unilever General Assembly next month, citing “significant demands from customers” regarding the company’s plans. to leave London.
Sacha Sadan, director of corporate governance at Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), said: “We do not think Unilever is a compelling reason for many PLC shareholders to support the recommendation for creation. from a Dutch company, vote on the resolution proposed by Unilever. ”
Unilever, which has been based in the United Kingdom for almost a century, has revised its two-person business structure of $ 143 billion in the latest Kraft Heinz acquisition, with Dutch laws offering more protection. complete against hostile takeovers. The leaders have since tried to convince investors that their Dutch creation project “would create a simpler, more agile and more focused society”.
Unilever needs at least 75% of the votes of shareholders listed on the London Stock Exchange to get the green light for an exodus from the capital.
Mr. Sadan added, “As Unilever’s largest shareholder for over 25 years, we have been dealing with the company on a number of issues, including the decision to unify its structure, and we asked the company to ensure that each approach meets the challenges The ability of our customers to maintain their investments and benefit from Unilever’s continued success. ”
LGIM’s decision to vote against the relocation plans of its third-largest UK company reflects opposition from other shareholders, including Brewin Dolphin, Lindsell Train and Columbia Threadneedle.
Nicla Di Palma, Equity Analyst at Brewin Dolphin, said: “We are not convinced that this decision will bring tangible benefits to shareholders and we intend to vote against them.”