Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Unilever shareholder sues over Ben & Jerry's Israel boycott

Stock Markets Jun 15, 2022 05:45PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ben & Jerry's, a brand of Unilever, is seen on display in a store in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., March 24, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Unilever (NYSE:UL) Plc was sued on Wednesday by a U.S. shareholder who said the company mishandled the decision by its Ben & Jerry's unit to stop selling ice cream in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

According to the proposed class action in Manhattan federal court, Unilever improperly concealed the decision before it was announced, recognizing that many U.S. states might divest from companies that support anti-Israel boycotts, yet stood behind it once the news became public.

Ben & Jerry's announced last July it would stop selling its products in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and parts of East Jerusalem, and sever its three-decade relationship with an Israeli ice cream maker that rejected the ban.

The price of Unilever American depositary receipts ("ADRs") fell nearly 8% over six days as Florida and Texas reviewed their relationships with the British consumer goods company, and some Jewish groups accused Ben & Jerry's of anti-Semitism.

Seven states including Florida, Texas and New York later divested their pension fund investments in Unilever, the complaint said.

"As a result of defendants' wrongful acts and omissions, and the declines in the market value of Unilever ADRs, plaintiff and other class members have suffered significant losses and damages," the complaint said.

The lawsuit was filed by a Michigan pension fund, the City of St. Clair Shores Police and Fire Retirement System.

Unilever did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Chief Executive Alan Jope and Unilever's board are also defendants.

Founded in 1978, Ben & Jerry's has long positioned itself as socially conscious, and kept its independence to pursue that mission after being acquired by Unilever in 2000.

Ben & Jerry's said last July that selling ice cream in the occupied Palestinian territories was "inconsistent with our values."

Most countries consider Israeli settlements in those territories illegal, which Israel disputes.

The Israeli ice cream maker, American Quality Products Ltd, sued Ben & Jerry's in March for refusing to renew its license. A New Jersey judge put that case on hold last week after the parties agreed to arbitration.

The case is City of St. Clair Shores Police and Fire Retirement System v Unilever Plc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 22-05011.

Unilever shareholder sues over Ben & Jerry's Israel boycott
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Mirko Greco
Mirko Greco Jun 15, 2022 5:34PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
i find it positive. i would instead invest more in a company that decides not to suspend their judgement over facts that are political. this happens too many times. reality is not a-political, so i dont understand why companies should be. i would instead buy stocks just because of this bold positioning. support enterprises that take position, not those that hide themselves behind a fake unachievable apolitical reality!
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email