Last week there was an interesting article in Barron’s regarding Unilever (UN & UL). Apparently, some bankers in London are thinking about unlocking Unilever’s value by splitting it up, similar to Viacom. One option would be to separate out the food business from the personal care operations. It might be difficult for Unilever to identify the best way to split up, since some of its slow growing brands such as detergents are now rapidly growing in emerging markets.
The interesting item of note was that the article pointed out that Unilever trades at a discount of as much as 30 percent compared to Procter & Gamble, Danone and Nestle. That is similar to my finding as well. I’ll have to keep on eye on Unilever’s moves over the next couple of months. Unilever’s value may start to attract attention and it might be unlocked in the near future.