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Unilever announced a voluntary open offer to increase its stake in Hindustan Unilever, its publicly listed subsidiary in India, from 52.48% to up to 75% at a price of INR 600 per share.
Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, said, “This represents a further step in Unilever’s strategy to invest in emerging markets and offers a liquidity opportunity at what we believe to be an attractive premium for existing shareholders. The long heritage and great brands of Hindustan Unilever, and the significant growth potential of a country with 1.3 billion people makes India a strategic long term priority for the business.”
The offer, which is made pursuant to the rules of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, is to acquire up to 487,004,772 shares, representing 22.52% of the total outstanding shares of HUL, which would increase Unilever’s stake to up to 75%. Securities regulations in India require a minimum public shareholding of 25% for a company to maintain a public listing in the country.