Billionaire investor joins Unilever board

Unilever’s share price has risen after the household goods and food conglomerate announced that the billionaire activist investor Nelson Peltz is to become a board member.

The group, which operates a key home and personal care manufacturing site at Port Sunlight, Wirral, said his position as a non-executive director is expected to be effective from July 20.

Unilever shares rose by more than 7% to £37.45 on the back of the announcement, making it the biggest riser on the FTSE 100.

Peltz is chief executive and a founding partner of Trian Fund Management, an investment management firm. He has previously served on the boards of several major global consumer goods companies, including Procter & Gamble, H.J. Heinz and Mondelēz International.

Last month when his daughter Nicola Peltz married Brooklyn Beckham, the son of David and Victoria Beckham.

Nils Andersen, chair of Unilever, said: “We are pleased to be welcoming Nelson to the Unilever Board. We have held extensive and constructive discussions with him and the Trian team and believe that Nelson’s experience in the global consumer goods industry will be of value to Unilever as we continue to drive the performance of our business. We look forward to working closely together to create long term sustainable value for our shareholders and wider stakeholders.”

Peltz said: “I am delighted to be joining the Board of Unilever. We believe it is a company with significant potential, through leveraging its portfolio of strong consumer brands and its geographical footprint. Trian has made a considerable investment in Unilever. We look forward to working collaboratively with management and the Board to help drive Unilever’s strategy, operations, sustainability, and shareholder value for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

Trian has confirmed that it manages funds which hold interests in approximately 37.4 million ordinary shares of Unilever, constituting approximately 1.5% of Unilever’s share capital.

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