Unilever ditches UK for new corporate base in Rotterdam

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Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant, Unilever, has picked Rotterdam in The Netherlands over its current London base as its sole headquarters.

Currently ranked as the UK’s third biggest company – Unilever is behind some household names including Magnum ice cream, Marmite and Dove’s beauty products.

The business has been split between the two nations for almost 100 years but the move announced today will see the London operation move into mainland Europe.

In a statement released by the company, Unilever sees the move as an opportunity to simplify its two legal entities – N.V. and PLC – into a single legal entity in Rotterdam. The move was apparently done to reflect the 55% of the group’s combined share capital and liquidity being based in The Netherlands, in comparison the UK.

The business will continue to be listed on the London, Amsterdam and New York stock exchange markets.

Unilever’s employment of 7,300 people in the UK and 3,100 people in the Netherlands will be unaffected by the changes announced today.

Marijn Dekkers, Chairman of Unilever said: “Unilever’s Board is fully committed to delivering long-term performance and sustainable value for shareholders. The Board believes the move to three Divisions and the simplification of our corporate structure will create a simpler, more agile and more focused company with increased strategic flexibility for value-creating portfolio change.

“Our decision to headquarter the Divisions in the UK and the Netherlands underscores our long-term commitment to both countries. The changes announced today also further strengthen Unilever’s corporate governance, creating for the first time in our history a ‘one share, one vote’ principle for all our shareholders.”

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