What Losing Unilever Could Mean for London Listings

Monday, 19th March 2018

Madleson and the government of the day could not do anything except insist that Kraft increase their offer, which they did, and the sale was made. Not long later, Kraft itself ended up a part of a consolidation offer with Heinz, forming Kraft Heinz - and last year that company made a bid for Unilever. That takeover bid failed, but not before it shook Unilever so badly that the company reconsidered how it was structured.

Unilever decided to move its headquarters to Holland - partly as a protective measure against hostile takeovers. The loss of the company is a blow to London, but what happens next could be even more important. The company would like to keep its FTSE listing, but whether that can happen or not is up to a committee that will have to deliberate on whether a company that has its headquarters registered abroad can have shares listed on the index. There are precedents that suggest it can, but itís not a done deal. If they lose their listing, then this would be a blow for the City, showing that it is shut to the idea of globalisation, and potentially losing us other brands in the future.

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