Rotterdam - As part of Unilever’s commitment to promoting the highest possible standards of corporate governance, Unilever N.V. recently announced the launch of a public cash offer for all its outstanding 6% and 7% preference shares. The offer was launched with the aim of strengthening the link between economic interests and voting rights for all Unilever N.V. shareholders.
Today, Unilever N.V. announces that all the conditions set forth in the offer memorandum dated 19 September 2011 have been satisfied and the offer is now declared unconditional.
Of the major holders of the preference shares, AEGON have tendered their shares in line with the agreement announced in May 2011. The two other major institutional holders have elected not to tender their shares. Amongst holders of the free float, approximately 56% of outstanding 6% preference shares and approximately 76% of the outstanding 7% preference shares have been tendered.
Overall this means that more than 22% of the outstanding 6% preference shares and 26% of the outstanding 7% preference shares have been tendered during the offer acceptance period, resulting in a transaction valued at €36 million. Following settlement of the offer, the tendered shares will be held in treasury.
As a result, the preference shares that still remain outstanding will account for approximately 17.5% of the voting rights in Unilever N.V.; down from 23% prior to the offer and 30% prior to the cancellation of the 4% preference shares in 2010.This represents important progress towards the goal of fully aligning voting rights with economic interests. There remains more to do however, and Unilever remains committed to reaching a final solution to the governance issues associated with the outstanding preference shares.
Preference shareholders who have accepted the offer will receive the purchase price for validly tendered and delivered preference shares on Monday 24 October 2011.
The offer relates to Unilever N.V. only. Unilever PLC is not a party to or involved in the offer.
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