Sep 21, 2020

Unilever wins Dutch backing for London move

Unilever's Dutch shareholders have overwhelmingly backed plans to transfer the Anglo-Dutch company into a London-based entity, a significant step in the consumer group's attempts to simplify its corporate structure. A successful move to London would end the dual structure of the business that has been in place since Unilever's formation from the merger of a Dutch margarine company and British soap maker Lever Brothers more than 90 years ago. The company last month warned it would reconsider the plans to move if it was affected by the proposed Dutch tax bill, which has been designed to penalise companies with revenues of more than €750m that leave the Netherlands for lower-tax jurisdictions. The proposed bill - nicknamed "Hotel California" after the Eagles' song lyric "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave" - could cost Unilever €11bn if it decides to move. Unilever dropped its plans to consolidate its structure into a Rotterdam-based company two years ago, following pressure from shareholders.

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