Nestle SA, the Swiss food giant whose U.S. operations are based in Glendale, said it may apply for its stock to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
American investors hold about 15% of Nestle's share capital, putting them second only to the Swiss, who have 49%, the company said. Nestle's stock currently trades on the Zurich Stock Exchange in the parent company's home town.
Under U.S. securities laws, Nestle can't offer its stock to all U.S. investors because the company's shares aren't listed on an exchange in this country. However, a provision in these laws permits unlisted companies to offer stock to certain qualified institutional investors.
Nestle has said it will take advantage of the provision to offer a portion of the 4.5 million new shares it plans to issue this spring to U.S. institutional investors.