Unilever names activist investor to board: ‘Unilever needs that’


Unilever names activist investor to board: ‘Unilever needs that’

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Wajeeh Khan

May 31, 2022

Unilever appoints activist investor Nelson Peltz as a non-executive director.

Jim Cramer reacts to the announcement on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street”.

Shares of the consumer goods company are up roughly 8.0% on Tuesday.

Shares of Unilever plc (LON: ULVR) are up 8.0% on Tuesday after the consumer goods company named Nelson Peltz to its board as a non-executive director.

Peltz has a 1.50% stake in Unilever plc

The American activist investor will also be a part of the board’s compensation committee. He’s expected to assume the roles by late July 2022. In the press release this morning, Peltz said:

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Unilever has significant potential, through leveraging its strong consumer brands and geographical footprint. I look forward to working collaboratively with management and Board to help drive Unilever’s strategy, operations, sustainability, and shareholder value.

Through his hedge fund (Trian Fund Management), Peltz has a 1.50% stake (approximately) in Unilever. The news comes shortly after the British multinational failed to buy GSK’s consumer health business for $63 billion.

Jim Cramer reacts to the announcement

Commenting on the Unilever news on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street”, Jim Cramer said Peltz had the potential to turnaround the London-headquartered company that’s “fallen behind pretty much everywhere”.

When he came to P&G, they were underperforming in emerging markets. Nelson helped turn around emerging markets. There’s a level of discipline that he could bring. He does a lot of homework. Unilever needs that homework.

Nonetheless, Unilever plc, despite higher input costs, reported better-than-expected turnover for its fiscal Q1 last month. The stock is still down about 7.0% versus the start of the year 2022.  

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