Illinois bars state pensions from owning Unilever because of Ben & Jerry’s stance on Israel

A view looking up into the dome of the “new” Illinois State Capitol building, which was completed in 1888. From the first floor to the dome is 361 feet.  

By Valerie Schremp Hahn
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Ross Kerber |

BOSTON — An Illinois board overseeing state employee pension funds on Wednesday voted to bar funds from holding Unilever PLC shares due to sales limits by the company’s Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand in Israel, joining at least five other U.S. states moving to restrict the stock.

A representative for the Illinois Investment Policy Board said it voted 7-0 at a meeting on Wednesday “to add Unilever to its prohibited entity list,” following similar moves by other states including New York and New Jersey.

An exact value of Unilever shares that state funds must now sell, if they own them, was not immediately available. Members of the board include representatives of Illinois teachers and university retirement systems and the Illinois State Board of Investment, who did not immediately respond to questions Wednesday evening.

Unilever representatives did not immediately respond to questions.

Like other states Illinois law bars investments in companies that boycott Israel. Ben & Jerry’s moved in July to end a license for its ice cream to be sold in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, saying sales there were “inconsistent with its values.” Most countries consider Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land to be illegal. Israel disputes this.

Region: Metro East,Business,City: St. Louis, MO

via – RSS Results in business/local of type article

December 23, 2021 at 08:44AM

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