Unilever plans to increase its stake in Hindustan Unilever (HUL), its publicly listed subsidiary in India, from 52.48% to up to 75% in a €4.1bn (£3.5bn) swoop.
The offer, announced today, would see Unilever snap up as many as 487,004,772 shares, representing 22.52% of the total outstanding shares of HUL.
“This represents a further step in Unilever’s strategy to invest in emerging markets and offers a liquidity opportunity at what we believe to be an attractive premium for existing shareholders,“ said Unilever CEO Paul Polman.
“The long heritage and great brands of Hindustan Unilever, and the significant growth potential of a country with 1.3 billion people, makes India a strategic long-term priority for the business,” he added.
The cash offer to shareholders unveiled by Unilever represents a premium of approximately 29.5% over the mandatory floor price required by Indian regulations, a premium of 26.0% on HUL’s last one month’s average trading share price, and a 25% premium on the last one week’s average trading price on the National Stock Exchange of India Limited.
The offer period is expected to begin in June 2013, subject to regulatory clearance.
Securities regulations in India require a minimum public shareholding of 25% for a company to maintain a public listing in the country.