Consumer-goods giant Unilever has completed its €5 billion share buyback programme, which saw the company repurchase 50,250,099 Unilever NV shares and 51,692,285 Unilever PLC shares.
The programme, which was first announced in August, involved the acquisition of Dutch preference shares from NN Investment Partners and ASR Nederland.
Unilever said that this move represented 'an important step in simplifying the capital structure' and would improve corporate governance by strengthening the link between economic interests and voting rights for company shareholders.
Meanwhile, Unilever is also currently reviewing its corporate structure. The company's chief executive, Paul Polman, told the Financial Times that it is likely to abandon its dual structure — involving two parent companies, two headquarters, and two stock-market listings.
However, last week it was announced that the company is delaying making a decision on whether to base its single headquarters in the UK or the Netherlands.
“I’m advocating to postpone decisions because it’s a moving playing field – with political turbulence out there," Polman said. "The emotions of the moment are really the issue.”
Whatever the outcome of this review, the group's board says that it intends to maintain listings in the Netherlands, the UK and the US.
Unilever is continuing to expand its portfolio, and so far this year, nine acquisitions have been completed or announced, including Sundial Brands, Tazo Tea, and Carver Korea cosmetics.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.