Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP announced that it has filed a class action lawsuit seeking to represent purchasers or acquirers of Unilever PLC (NYSE: UL) American Depository Receipts (“ADRs”) between September 2, 2020 and July 21, 2021, inclusive (the “Class Period”). The Unilever class action lawsuit – City of St. Clair Shores Police and Fire Retirement System v. Unilever PLC, No. 22-cv-05011 (S.D.N.Y.) – charges Unilever as well as certain of its top executives and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
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You can also contact attorney J.C. Sanchez of Robbins Geller by calling 800/449-4900 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lead plaintiff motions for the Unilever class action lawsuit must be filed with the court no later than August 15, 2022.
CASE ALLEGATIONS: Unilever is a British multinational consumer goods company. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is one of Unilever’s marquee brands, which remains a wholly owned subsidiary of Unilever with an independent board addressing Ben & Jerry’s Social Mission. In July 2020, Ben & Jerry’s board passed a resolution to end sales of Ben & Jerry’s products in areas that the board considers to be Palestinian territories illegally occupied by Israel.
The Unilever class action lawsuit alleges that, throughout the Class Period, defendants made false and misleading statements and failed to disclose that in July 2020, Ben & Jerry’s board passed a resolution to end sales of its ice cream in “Occupied Palestinian Territory” as well as the risks attendant to the board’s decision. Additionally, Unilever’s s description of its legal risks was materially false and misleading because Unilever acknowledged that complying with all applicable laws and regulations was important but omitted discussing Ben & Jerry’s boycott decision, which risked adverse governmental actions for violations of laws, executive orders, or resolutions aimed at discouraging boycotts, divestment, and sanctions of Israel adopted by 35 U.S. states (“Anti-BDS Legislation”).
On July 19, 2021, Unilever and its hand-picked Ben & Jerry’s CEO, Matthew McCarthy, finally “operationalized” the Ben & Jerry’s board’s resolution to boycott Israel. Ben & Jerry’s announced on its website and through its Twitter account that, upon the expiration of the current licensing agreement by which its products had been distributed in Israel for decades, Ben & Jerry’s would end sales of its ice cream in “Occupied Palestinian Territory” but Ben & Jerry’s would purportedly continue to sell its products in Israel. On this news, the price of Unilever ADRs fell.
Then, July 22, 2021, CNBC reported that the states of Texas and Florida were examining Ben & Jerry’s actions in connection with the states’ Anti-BDS Legislation. In addition to condemnation of Ben & Jerry’s boycott by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, CNBC reported that Texas State Comptroller Glenn Hegar, who controls billions of dollars in assets for Texas’ public pension funds, had already told his office to take action. Similarly, the state of Florida’s CFO Jimmy Patronis, who controls Florida’s public pension funds, told CNBC that his office was already discussing the issue. In a letter reportedly sent to Ben & Jerry’s CEO, Patronis wrote: “It is my belief that Ben & Jerry’s brazen refusal to do business in Israel will result in your placement on the Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel List.” The letter also stated that Florida would then “be prohibited from investing in Ben & Jerry’s or its parent company, Unilever.” Being added to the list also meant that Unilever would not be able to enter or renew contracts with the state or any municipality in Florida. On this news, the price of Unilever ADRs fell more than 5%, further damaging investors.
Ultimately, the states of New York, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, and Arizona announced decisions to divest their pension fund investments in Unilever due to violations of their Anti-BDS Legislation.
The plaintiff is represented by Robbins Geller, which has extensive experience in prosecuting investor class actions including actions involving financial fraud. You can view a copy of the complaint by clicking here.
THE LEAD PLAINTIFF PROCESS: The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 permits any investor who purchased or acquired Unilever ADRs during the Class Period to seek appointment as lead plaintiff in the Unilever class action lawsuit. A lead plaintiff is generally the movant with the greatest financial interest in the relief sought by the putative class who is also typical and adequate of the putative class.
ABOUT ROBBINS GELLER: Robbins Geller is one of the world’s leading complex class action firms representing plaintiffs in securities fraud cases. The Firm is ranked #1 on the 2021 ISS Securities Class Action Services Top 50 Report for recovering nearly $2 billion for investors last year alone – more than triple the amount recovered by any other plaintiffs’ firm. With 200 lawyers in 9 offices, Robbins Geller is one of the largest plaintiffs’ firms in the world and the Firm’s attorneys have obtained many of the largest securities class action recoveries in history, including the largest securities class action recovery ever – $7.2 billion – in In re Enron Corp. Sec. Litig. Please visit the following page for more information:
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Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP
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J.C. Sanchez, 800-449-4900