Unilever N.V. takes steps to further improve corporate governance
Rotterdam - Unilever N.V. today announced proposals to improve and simplify its corporate governance and capital structure. Unilever N.V. intends to propose to cancel its 4% cumulative preference shares and to seek authorisation to buy back its 6% and 7% cumulative preference shares.
Proposals to simplify capital structure of Unilever N.V.
Unilever believes that these actions will strengthen the link between economic interest and voting rights for Unilever N.V. shareholders and move it towards the principle of one share, one vote. Over the years Unilever N.V. issued various classes of preference shares. Since then there has been a gap between their economic value and the votes that they represent.
Unilever N.V. will put to its forthcoming Annual General Meeting, to be held on 11 May 2010, a proposal to cancel its 4% cumulative preference shares. Upon cancellation holders would receive a cash payment of €45.37802 for each 4% Unilever N.V. cumulative preference share, as provided in the Unilever N.V. articles of association. Unilever N.V. will also pay the dividend accrued until the moment of cancellation.
Unilever N.V. also intends to seek authority from the Unilever N.V. Annual General Meeting to buy back the 6% Unilever N.V. cumulative preference shares at a price of up to €575.50, and the 7% Unilever N.V. cumulative preference shares at a price of up to €671.40 per share.
Unilever N.V. currently intends to implement the buy back by way of a public offer, to be run in parallel with the proposed cancellation of the 4% Unilever N.V. cumulative preference shares.
Unilever N.V. emphasises that at this point there is no certainty about the execution of these proposals nor on the timing thereof.
The cancellation of the 4% Unilever N.V. preference shares will result in a total cash consideration in the region of €35 million. If all holders of the 6% and 7% Unilever N.V. preference shares would tender their shares, this could result in a further cash consideration for Unilever N.V. of a maximum of €120 million, including all accrued dividends.
The agenda of the Annual General Meeting of Unilever N.V., as well as other meeting documents will be available as from 31 March 2010. The meeting will take place at the World Trade Centre, Rotterdam, on Tuesday 11 May 2010.
These proposals do not relate to Unilever PLC.