Unilever CEO hints ‘good chance’ ice cream division could list in Amsterdam


Unilever chief executive Hein Schumacher has hinted that the Netherlands has a “good chance” of hosting the FMCG giant’s split-off ice cream division.

Earlier this month, the group unveiled plans which will see a “full separation” of brands including Magnum, Ben & Jerry’s, Wall’s and Cornetto, with the move expected to be complete by the end of 2025.

The decision is designed to help the development of the ice cream brands, which it said had “distinct characteristics” compared to other divisions, with the conglomerate believing the changes would “create a world-leading business” and “drive stronger performances”.

Currently, Unilever has a primary listing on the FTSE 100 and a secondary listing on Euronext Amsterdam, however its £14.5bn (€17bn) ice cream division is run from the Netherlands, The Times reported.

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Schumacher told Dutch television programme Buitenhof: “The most likely route is to split off with a separate stock exchange listing and its own head office.

“As a company, we are now listed in London, the largest market for ice cream is the United States and we currently run the ice cream division from the Netherlands. If I follow the most likely route, then the Netherlands has a good chance.”

In 2020, Unilever made a statement that it would contemplate picking the Dutch exchange if it ever looked to float its wider food and drink division, and the Dutch government has since been calling on Unilever to list the business in Amsterdam.

The ice cream division came under this section at the time; however it has since been separated.

While the move to spin out its ice cream division looks to make it a “leaner and more accountable” business, 7,500 predominantly office-based roles will be cut.

Unilever expects the “productivity plan” to deliver total cost savings of around £630.5m (€800m) over the next three years.



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