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Unilever to buy back preference shares from NN Group, ASR

Dutch insurers NN Group NV and ASR Nederland NV reached an agreement with consumer goods company Unilever Plc for a buyback of cumulative preference shares in Unilever NV.

According to the agreement, Unilever will buy back 6% and 7% preference shares held by NN Group for approximately €295 million and 6% preference shares held by ASR for approximately €142 million by the means of a public offer. The settlement of the transaction is expected to take place in the fourth quarter.

NN Investment Partners BV's holding represents 11.4% of Unilever's voting rights, while that of ASR represents 5.5%. They also represent about 97% of the outstanding 6% and 7% preference shares, the remainder of which Unilever will offer to repurchase on the same terms as afforded to NN and ASR.

NN Group expects a capital gain of about €250 million after settlement of the transaction. ASR expects a positive effect on its IFRS net result of €118 million, which will not be part of its operating result.

ASR will reinvest the proceeds of the transaction.