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Unilever Continues Review Of Operations To Find Ways To Boost Shareholder Returns

March 14, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Responding to what CEO Paul Polman called the “near-death” experience of Kraft Heinz’s recent failed takeover bid, Unilever is thoroughly reviewing operations to see where it can boost shareholder returns. The company is requiring division heads in all of its businesses – from ice cream to shampoo and deodorants – to to conduct the reviews. It is unlikely the company will untangle its food, home, and personal care businesses, but it could make medium-sized acquisitions  One area of concern is actually a strength: its low debt balance. The small amount of debt gave Kraft Heinz a strategy for financing the acquisition. Unilever could cut costs more deeply in low-growth businesses to boost profit. And it may sell its Flora margarine unit to Kraft Heinz. [ Image credit: © DFID - UK Department for International Development  ]
Scheherazade Daneshkhu, "Pressure is on Unilever to meet investor expectations", The Financial Times, March 14, 2017, © The Financial Times Limited
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