The programme is in line with the Group’s objective of targeting a net debt to EBITDA ratio of 2.0x.
The buy-back will be conducted in both Unilever PLC and Unilever N.V. ordinary shares. Under the terms of the programme, between €1.5 billion and €2.5 billion will be bought back on the London Stock Exchange in the form of Unilever PLC ordinary shares, and the balance of the aggregate €5 billion will be bought back on Euronext in Amsterdam in the form of Unilever N.V. ordinary shares (or depositary receipts in respect of such ordinary shares).
The buy-back programme will take place within the limitations of the authority granted to the Boards of each of Unilever PLC and Unilever N.V. by their respective general meetings held in April 2017, pursuant to which the maximum number of shares to be bought back by Unilever PLC is 128,345,000 and the maximum number of shares (or depositary receipts thereof) to be bought back by Unilever N.V. is 223,024,384.
The buy-back programme, the purpose of which is to reduce the capital of Unilever PLC and Unilever N.V., respectively, will also be conducted within the parameters prescribed by the Market Abuse Regulation 596/2014, the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1052 and, in the case of Unilever PLC, Chapter 12 of the Listing Rules.
The programme will commence on 19 May 2017 and will end no later than 15 December 2017. The Group has entered into non-discretionary instructions with Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch and UBS AG, London Branch to conduct the share buy-back programme on its behalf and to make trading decisions under the programme independently of the Group.