The news comes shortly after it was announced that American activist investor Nelson Peltz had bought shares in the company. Unilever owns brands such as Ola, Ben & Jerry’s, Unox and Knorr.
A spokesman for Unilever Netherlands says he does not want to comment on rumors in the market. The group employs around 2700 people in the Netherlands. There are about 150,000 worldwide. According to Bloomberg, the news could officially come out this week.
Peltz’s mutual fund, Trian Fund, is known for transforming large companies. This happened previously at the company behind cola brand Pepsi and French food group Danone. With what intentions and with how many shares Peltz will join Unilever is not known. The company’s shares rose 7% after news of the investor’s entry into the stock market. That’s the biggest increase in eighteen months.
CEO Jope is under increasing pressure to change course as the company isn’t growing as fast as the competition. The Brit said last week he wanted to focus more on health and stop underperforming industries.
It was also revealed that Unilever had made a failed £50 billion bid for the consumer arm of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which makes Advil pain relievers and Sensodyne toothpaste, among other things. Unilever has said it won’t go any higher than that.