Fund managers welcome shareholder defeat of Unilever Europe plan

The UK’s trade body for fund management companies applauded shareholders for forcing the UK’s Unilever to abandon a plan to move its headquarters out of the UK.

The FTSE 100 company said it had not received support for the measure to switch domicile to Holland – a measure driven by simplification of Unilever’s complicated organisation rather than by Brexit.

The Investment Association (IA) said many shareholders would have had to have sold their shares in the company.

An IA spokesman said: “The feedback from many of our members has been that there was no compelling reason for Plc shareholders to accept the proposed simplification in this form. They did not believe it would be in the long-term interests of their clients, and would have resulted in many shareholders being forced to sell their shares.”

Index funds tracking the FTSE 100 would have been among the sellers.

The IA added:  “We welcome the fact that Unilever has listened to the feedback from their shareholders and not pushed ahead with their plans. We look forward to engaging with the company on their future plans.”

Fund managers quoted in the press included Mike Fox at Royal London Asset Management, who told the Guardian the board had “listened to shareholder concerns. We are pleased we and other UK investors can now share in the future growth of the company”.

©2018 funds europe

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