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Unilever PLC

Company NameUnilever PLC
Stock SymbolUL
Class PeriodSeptember 02, 2020 to July 21, 2021
Lead Plaintiff Motion DeadlineAugust 15, 2022

On July 19, 2021, Unilever’s subsidiary ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s announced that, upon the expiration of the current licensing agreement by which its products had been distributed in Israel for decades, it would end sales of its ice cream in “Occupied Palestinian Territory” but would purportedly continue to sell its products in Israel. On this news, the Company’s ADR price fell $0.58 per ADR, or 1%.

Then, on July 22, 2021, CNBC reported that Texas and Florida were examining Ben & Jerry’s actions in connection with their legislation against the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (“BDS”) movement, a controversial movement whose objective is to coerce Israel into making concessions to the Palestinians. In a letter from the state of Florida’s CFO Jimmy Patronis, who controls Florida’s public pension funds,  Florida would “be prohibited from investing in Ben & Jerry’s or its parent company, Unilever.” That also meant that Unilever could not enter or renew contracts with the state or any municipality in Florida.

On this news, Unilever’s ADR price fell $3.08, or 5.4%, to close at $53.45 per ADR on July 22, 2021, thereby injuring investors further.

The complaint filed in this class action alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose to investors: (1) that, in July 2020, Ben & Jerry’s board passed a resolution to end sales of its ice cream in “Occupied Palestinian Territory”; (2) the risks attendant to the Ben & Jerry’s board’s decision; (3) the foregoing 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; and (4) as a result, Defendants’ positive statements about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times.

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