Dod101 wrote:It seems to me to be a great shame if we Brits just sit and watch as a highly successful British company just disappears off to Holland and is removed from the FTSE, leaving it more dependent than ever on natural resources and financial companies. it is unbalanced enough as it is. Who is in line as a replacement?
If by that question you mean which share will be promoted to the FTSE-100 in its place, then I don't think that is very significant since there are usually a few promotions and demotions at every review, and the new entrants typically have a low market cap relative to the index average, absent special cases like privatisations. Its replacement will probably be in a different sector.
If instead you mean which share should investors buy to get a similar exposure, then there is no real UK equivalent. Most of the bigger consumer products companies have already been bought out. The most obvious alternatives are Nestle, as you note, although beware the rather severe tax withholding on any Swiss share.
Or Proctor and Gamble, although that has a smaller food division.
For some time I have preferred XLP - the US-listed consumer staples ETF for exposure to food and household products. It has P&G, Coke, Pepsi, Colgate etc. (Tobacco is in there too, annoyingly).
I agree with you 100% that the FTSE-100 is becoming increasingly skewed sectorally, and I have less and less use for it. To capture the missing sectors one increasingly has to look overseas, as do those who fear political risk in the UK as well.
I see no reason to sell Unilever because of this change, especially given the difficulty in finding a like-for-like replacement.