In a move that appears to be an effort to boost its share price and avoid further buyout approaches like that of Kraft-Heinz earlier this year, the multinational consumer goods giant has begun the programme of buying back billions of euros of its own shares.
Before the end date of 15 December, Unilever is aiming to purchase between 1.5 and 2.5 billion euros of London-listed shares, and the balance of the 5 billion euro programme on its Dutch shares.
The programme is in line with the Group’s objective of targeting a net debt to EBITDA ratio of 2.0x, says Unilever, and aims to reduce the capital of Unilever PLC and Unilever N.V. respectively.
Controls and checks
According to the company, which owns personal care brands such as Dove, Fair & Lovely and Axe, notes that the buy-back will be subject to the limitations of the authority granted to the Boards of each of Unilever PLC and Unilever N.V. by their respective general meetings in April this year.
The programme will also be conducted within the parameters prescribed by the Market Abuse Regulation 596/2014, the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1052 and, in the case of Unilever PLC, Chapter 12 of the Listing Rules.
Unilever says it has entered into non-discretionary instructions with Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch and UBS AG, London Branch to conduct the share buy-back programme on its behalf and to make trading decisions under the programme independently of the Group.