Tuesday, 20 November, 2018


Unilever chooses Rotterdam over London for headquarters

Unilever chooses Rotterdam over London for headquarters Unilever chooses Rotterdam over London for headquarters
Hannah Rogers | 15 March, 2018, 13:52

Forged by the 1930 merger of the Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie and the British soapmaker Lever Brothers, Unilever said its 7,300 staff in the United Kingdom would be unaffected and it will continue to be listed in London, Amsterdam, and NY.

The consumer goods company said in a statement Thursday that it would use Rotterdam as its sole legal home amid a broader shake up of its corporate structure.

The maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry's ice cream previous year announced a review of its dual-headed structure after fighting off a $US143 billion takeover offer from Kraft Heinz.

Unilever, which is behind well-known household brands such as Dove, Marmite and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, employs around 169,000 people around the world.

Unilever will maintain a large presence in Britain, with 7,300 of its 170,000 employees located there, against just over 3,000 in the Netherlands.

The stately Unilever has already undergone some dramatic changes over the last couple of years, since it fended off an unwanted takeover bid from Kraft Heinz. "We would not be investing in our two headquarters here for the two divisions in the UK".

'This decision is a major blow to the Government and shows what business really feels about Britain's decision to leave the EU.

The headquarters of the Beauty & Personal Care Division and the Home Care Division will be in London, while the Foods & Refreshment Division's headquarters will continue to be in Rotterdam.

Unilever (LON:ULVR) has shunned London in favour of Rotterdam, after confirming it would move its London HQ to the city in the wake of a year-long review.

In recent months, speculation had grown that Unilever would choose the Netherlands after Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, himself a Unilever veteran, proposed a tax change seen as benefiting Anglo-Dutch multinationals.

The Netherlands entity represents about 55% of the combined share capital and trades with greater liquidity than the British company, he said.

Unilever chairman Marijn Dekkers said: "Our decision to headquarter the divisions in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands underscores our long-term commitment to both countries".

Unilever said the simplified structure will give it more flexibility to make portfolio changes and help long-term performance.

'As the company has made clear, the decision to move a small group of people to a corporate headquarters in the Netherlands ... is not connected to the EU's departure from the European Union, ' the statement said.

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