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Wall’s Ice Cream owner could give UK the cold shoulder

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Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 08 November 2017 8:47

Wall’s Ice Cream owner could give UK the cold shoulder

Unilever, the owners of one of Gloucester’s most famous brands – Wall’s Ice Cream – could be about to give the UK the cold shoulder, if reports are to be believed.

Among other tasty cold treats Wall’s, which sports the Unilever brand on the sign at its entrance off Hammond Way, Barnwood, produces the chocolate covered Magnum.

The Anglo-Dutch conglomerate has its fingers in more pies than we can mention here, but count PG Tips, Dove, Hellman’s, Knorr and Flora on the list.

It is precisely the ‘Anglo-Dutch’ profile which is the issue. The company is listed on stock markets here – it is a FTSE 100 firm – and in Amsterdam and it is this unusual dual nature which troubles some investors and the firm is under pressure to address.

Whether it happens is something we will have to wait and see, but Daily Telegraph suggests we will know more in four weeks when a “crucial presentation to investors” is due to take place.

Should such a decision take place and the headquarters move to Rotterdam that it takes place as the UK prepares to leave the EU will no doubt also fuel commentators to speculate further on the motives.

Pressure is thought to have mounted on Unilever to choose between the UK and Holland after Kraft Heinz’s failed £115blln takeover bid earlier this year.

For those with long memories the name Kraft will ring as bell. Before 2015 Kraft had its UK headquarters in Cheltenham, but shipped out of the county lock, stock and barrel after its controversial takeover of chocolate maker Cadbury.

As best we can tell should Unilever go Dutch it will have nothing to do with the operations it currently runs in the UK and the estimated 300 staff at Wall’s in Gloucester need not worry.

 

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