(Alliance News) - Unilever on Monday said it expects the unification of legal entities under Unilever PLC to complete over the weekend of November 21 to 22.
This means the expected last day of trading in Unilever NV shares would be November 20. It called extraordinary general meetings for September 21 in Rotterdam and October 12 in London to approve the the new structure.
In June, the consumer goods firm had announced plans to unify its Anglo-Dutch duo legal structure under a single London-headquartered, UK-registered parent company, Unilever PLC. Unilever will remain listed in London, Amsterdam, and New York, and the legal restructuring will not affect its operations, staffing levels or the manufacture and supply of products in both countries, the company emphasised at the time.
Since then, with interim results in July, Unilever said it has decided to form a separate entity for its tea business, which generated revenue of EUR2 billion in 2019.
Unilever, which announced a strategic review of its tea business in January, however intends to retain its tea businesses in India and Indonesia and the partnership interests in the ready-to-drink tea joint ventures.
"The balance of Unilever's tea brands and geographies and all tea estates have an exciting future, and this potential can best be achieved as a separate entity. A process will now begin to implement the separation, which is expected to conclude by the end of 2021," the company said last month.
Unilever shares were trading flat early Monday in London.
Here is what you need to know at the London market open:
FTSE 100: up 0.4% at 6,057.72
Hang Seng: down 0.7% at 24,358.11
Nikkei 225: Tokyo market closed for holiday
DJIA: closed up 46.50 points, 0.2%, at 27,433.48
S&P 500: closed up 0.1% at 3,351.28
GBP: flat at USD1.3057 (USD1.3050)
EUR: flat at USD1.1781 (USD1.1789)
Gold: firm at USD2,033.63 per ounce (USD2,032.40)
Oil (Brent): up at USD44.81 a barrel (USD44.60)
(changes since previous London equities close)
ECONOMICS AND GENERAL
Monday's Key Economic Events still to come
Japan Mountain Day holiday. Financial markets closed.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing widespread calls to boost coronavirus testing and tracing in order to safely reopen schools to all pupils without imposing further restrictions on businesses or social lives, PA reports. Johnson said it is the "national priority" to get children back in class in England next month, but he has been warned by scientific advisers that "trade-offs" may be necessary to keep transmission down. Teachers, scientists, opposition politicians and the children's commissioner for England Anne Longfield have all called for improvements to testing before pupils return.
Proposals on how to restrict non-essential travel from countries outside the UK and EU are being prepared for the Irish government, the Health minister said. Stephen Donnelly said he is concerned about high rates of coronavirus in some places, and said options will be finalised "as soon as possible". The Health minister said that the number of travel-related cases in Ireland remains small but added that the risk is increasing. Writing on Twitter, Donnelly said: "Many are asking about travel/tourists coming into Ireland from countries with high Covid rates. My Dept is preparing options for Gov on how to restrict non-essential travel from third countries (outside EU/UK) with high rates of Covid. Am concerned about high rates in some places."
BROKER RATING CHANGES
RBC RAISES HASTINGS GROUP TO 'SECTOR PERFORM' ('UNDERPERFORM'), PRICE TARGET TO 250 (160) PENCE
UBS RAISES NEXT PRICE TARGET TO 6300 (5600) PENCE - 'BUY'
COMPANIES - FTSE 100
Polymetal International said it has signed an exploration joint venture with Russian engineering firm JSC Rosgeology, for the discovery of pyritic copper-zinc mineralisation at the Novopetrovskaya site in Russia. Under the joint venture, Polymetal will acquire a 75% stake in Rosgeo's subsidiary - which owns the Novopetrovskaya area's licence - for a total cash payment of RUB490 million, or USD7 million. The company also has been given a seven-year call option to acquire the remaining 25% interest following the Russian statutory reserve estimate. In return, Polymetal will provide exploration funding sufficient to complete a reserve estimate, allowing for 100 kilometres in drill holes to be completed, resulting in a JORC-compliant mineral resource estimate by 2023.
COMPANIES - FTSE 250
Transport operators Go-Ahead and FirstGroup welcomed the UK government's decision to extend the funding of bus services. Go-Ahead said it welcomes the announcement from the Department for Transport regarding extended funding of bus services in England, to be provided by the UK government. Over the weekend, the UK government announced emergency Covid-19 funding for bus and tram operators in England is being extended ahead of expected increases in demand next month. Some GBP218.4 million will be available for bus services over the coming eight weeks. This will be followed by investment worth up to GBP27.3 million per week "until a time when the funding is no longer needed". FirstGroup also welcomed the decision, saying the UK government commitment demonstrates the value placed on bus services to support the restart of local economies, get people back to work and children back to school from September. FirstGroup said its First Bus operations across England have increased operated mileage from 40% to almost 90% of pre-pandemic levels, with passenger volumes increasing from 10% to 40% since the low point.
Clarkson said it saw a robust first-half performance in 2020, despite the "unprecedented challenges" faced by the shipping industry. For the half-year ended June 30, revenue was up 7.5% at GBP180.4 million from GBP167.8 million the year before, and pretax profit was up 9.0% at GBP20.9 million from GBP19.2 million. The shipping services provider said it has a robust balance sheet, with GBP88.8 million of free cash resources. In light of the strong cash position, Clarkson has decided to pay the equivalent of the deferred 2019 final dividend of 53 pence per share as an interim dividend. The company also declared a further interim dividend for 2020 of 25p per share, unchanged from last year.
Capita said that it has secured a GBP355 million extension to its contract with Transport for London to continue to manage London's congestion charge, low and ultra-low emission zones. The outsourcer said the contract comprises both an extension to its existing work, from October 2021 to October 2026, and new work expanding the low and ultra-low emission zones and direct vision standards, set to last until October 2026.
Monday's Shareholder Meetings
Petropavlovsk - GM re appointment of directors
Capital & Counties Properties - GM re buying 2nd tranche of Shaftesbury
Personal Assets Trust - GM re issuing new shares
By Tom Waite; firstname.lastname@example.org
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