Unification of Unilever’s corporate structure
Davis Polk is advising UBS AG London Branch as sponsor in connection with the unification of Unilever’s dual-headed group legal structure under a single parent company, Unilever PLC, to be implemented through an EU cross-border merger between Unilever PLC and Unilever NV, with Unilever PLC as the resultant entity.
Pursuant to the unification, the key terms of which were announced on June 11, 2020 and set out in the prospectus and shareholder circular published on August 10, 2020, Unilever NV shareholders will receive one new Unilever PLC share in exchange for each Unilever NV share held. Unilever PLC will continue to have a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange and will apply for an additional listing on Euronext Amsterdam. Unilever PLC American depositary shares will continue to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Subject to certain conditions, including the approval of shareholders in Unilever PLC and Unilever NV, consultations with employee representative bodies and applicable regulatory consents, unification is expected to complete in November 2020.
Unilever is one of the world’s largest and best-known consumer goods companies and sells around 400 brands in more than 190 countries. The group operates across three divisions: beauty and personal care, home care and foods and refreshment. Currently, Unilever PLC is listed in London and New York, Unilever NV is listed in Amsterdam and New York and, through an equalization agreement, shareholders in each company have an equivalent economic interest in the business of the Unilever group.
The Davis Polk corporate team includes partner Will Pearce and associate Fiona Tregeagle. Partner Reuven B. Young and associate Maxim Van de moortel are providing U.S. securities law advice. Partner Jonathan Cooklin is providing tax advice. All members of the Davis Polk team are based in the London office.