Unilever adds more than £2bn to its value in week


Unilever adds more than £2bn to its value – its fastest weekly gain since April – after we report City speculation that activist may press for a break-up










Unilever last week added more than £2billion to its value – its fastest weekly gain since April – after The Mail on Sunday reported City speculation that an activist may press for a break-up. 

The shares rose more than twice the rate of consumer rivals Reckitt Benckiser and Diageo, which helped it defy a slump in the FTSE All Share Index. At £103billion, Unilever is the second most valuable stock in the FTSE100 after AstraZeneca, and accounts for more than 5 per cent of the index’s entire value. 

Pocketing a fortune: At £103billion, Unilever is the second most valuable stock in the FTSE100 after AstraZeneca

Pocketing a fortune: At £103billion, Unilever is the second most valuable stock in the FTSE100 after AstraZeneca

City sources said it could be forced into a radical shake-up by aggressive investors. 

HSBC said splitting the developing markets business, including India and Indonesia, could double the value of the company’s shares – because it would focus investor attention on the benefits of investing in the fast growing regions but also the more stable, cash-generating, developed markets businesses such as the US and Europe. 

Veteran US activist Nelson Peltz has been named as one of those who may pressure the board to break up the business. 

Peltz recently made more than $1 billion (£730million) after a campaign against Unilever rival Procter & Gamble.

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