Unilever steady after chilly few weeks

Elliot Gulliver-Needham
clock • 4 min read
Unilever steady after chilly few weeks

Unilever has faced a tumultuous few weeks as news of its failed £50bn bid to buy GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer health unit came to light along with job cuts, scathing remarks from star fund managers and an activist investor taking a position.

The proposed deal, which would have been one of the largest ever on the London market, sank Unilever stock by 11%, before recovering in the days after.  The company has seen a 30% drop in its share price since its highs in late 2019. "Investor pushback has predominantly focused on the strength of Unilever's balance sheet, with the firm already subject to a substantial debt pile," explained Nick Edwards, fund manager of the Guinness European Equity Income fund.  Indeed, the GSK deal would have added to the debt pile as it would have been financed with 80% debt and 20% equity. Chr...

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