The New Jersey Division of Investment, which manages investments for the New Jersey Pension Fund, Trenton, has taken a first step to divest its holdings in Unilever PLC, the parent company of ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc.
The division said on Tuesday it was enforcing a state law, signed in 2016 by former Gov. Chris Christie, that orders the pension fund to act against companies imposing economic boycotts in Israel or in Israel-controlled territory.
In a Sept. 2 letter to Unilever CEO Alan Jope, the division said it was making a "preliminary determination" that the state law was violated by a decision by Ben & Jerry's to stop selling ice cream in an Israel-controlled territory.
The $92.7 billion New Jersey Pension Fund holds approximately $182 million in common stock, bonds and short term paper in Unilever, Jennifer Sciortino, a spokeswoman for New Jersey's Department of the Treasury, said in an email.