Oct 27, 2020

Unilever to become UK company despite Dutch tax threat

Unilever is to push ahead with unifying its legal structure in the UK, despite the threat from Dutch politicians of an "Exit tax" in the Netherlands that could cost the consumer goods group €11bn. The maker of Dove soap, Domestos bleach and Ben & Jerry's ice cream said the boards of both its UK and Dutch entities had chosen on Tuesday to proceed with combining them into a single London-based company. Unification as a UK company has proved popular with shareholders, securing approval from investors in both the UK and Dutch entities. Politicians from the Dutch Green party have sought to impose an exit tax on departing companies that Unilever previously said could derail its attempt to simplify its structure. Unilever said of the Dutch bill on Tuesday: "It is unclear when, or indeed if at all, the bill will be enacted, or in what form." It said it had received legal advice that any exit tax charge it might receive under the bill "Should be annulled on the grounds that it infringes the Dutch-UK tax treaty, other Dutch tax treaties with states in which shareholders reside, primary and secondary EU law and the first protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights".

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