2 April 2020, Thursday
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Amsterdam

Unilever attracts hundreds of millions into struggle against coronavirus

Unilever attracts half a billion euros for the coronavirus. The multinational will include small and medium-sized suppliers to pay more. Also donates the company for 100 million euros soap and disinfectants.

Greatest test in decades

Unilever says it is worried. “The world faces its greatest test in decades,” said CEO Alan Jope. “We are deeply saddened by the terrible impact caused by the coronavirus on lives and livelihoods.”

The company now donates 100 million soaps and disinfectants. That goes to the World Health Organization, but other charities receive the stuff.

For small and medium suppliers 500 million euros. They get paid sooner, to prevent them from falling over. There is also credit to customers who rely on Unilever. This’ to help them protect jobs.

Multinationals can help

It is good that a big company ready money, said analyst Jos Versteeg Insinger Gilissen. “It’s a good gesture and it is the way to bind your customers. For them it is a small amount and eventually recovered quickly.”

It helps governments and multinational corporations also help financially or with equipment. “They can and should play a role. You see it all happen. Banks that are more tolerant to their customers. That was after the financial crisis question of image damage, so they can do something extra.”

Not everyone can

Yet Versteeg not expect that more companies follow the example of Unilever. “Companies like Shell and Philips would be, but that does not apply to everyone. I do not expect large-scale cash operations.”

Companies keep the money now rather equally in cash, the analyst believes. They’ll be a lot more careful. All business may well think with governments, for example, to donate products.

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