Tags: Unilever | UL | sustainability | buyback

Unilever Launches into Preferred Buyback

By    |   Monday, 03 Oct 2011 03:16 PM

In an attempt to reclaim control over its corporate governance structure, the board of Unilever (UL) has approved the buyback of preferred shares to the tune of $215 million — if everyone sells their shares back, that is.

Beginning in mid-September through Oct. 18, this buyback exercise isn’t for everyone. It only applies to holders of preferred stock of the Dutch NV parent company, rather than the UK-based PLC.

The idea is that the buyback supports Unilever’s efforts to improve corporate governance and provides preferred shareholders an opportunity to dispose of their holdings at an attractive premium.

It seems that the move was appreciated by the investment community. Shortly after the plan was approved at an extraordinary meeting on Sept. 16, Jefferies & Co. immediately raised its price target and raised its rating to buy from hold.

Investing in sustainability

Unilever also has been working to introduce extensive measures of sustainability into its supply chain.

In the U.K., the consumer goods giant has agreed to a deal with waste management firm Veolia to ensure that more than 97 percent of its waste is recycled. Total operations in the country add up to 11 manufacturing sites, two corporate offices, and two laboratories, meaning a lot of waste. The remaining 3 percent will be converted into energy.

Mid-year, the company was hailed as the first buyer of certificates issued from the Roundtable on Sustainable Soy, and it has been working to set up sustainable supply chains for tea in Turkey and China as well as supporting small-scale farmers in Azerbaijan.

Unilever reported underlying sales growth of 7.1 percent in the second quarter on Aug. 4 with first half underlying sales growth 5.7 percent, comprising volume growth of 2.2 percent and price growth of 3.5 percent.

Unilever next reports Nov. 3.

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In an attempt to reclaim control over its corporate governance structure, the board of Unilever (UL) has approved the buyback of preferred shares to the tune of $215 million if everyone sells their shares back, that is. Beginning in mid-September through Oct. 18, this...
Unilever,UL,sustainability,buyback
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2011-16-03
Monday, 03 Oct 2011 03:16 PM
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