Unilever To Be Headquartered At Rotterdam

Unilever To Be Headquartered At Rotterdam

It is hoped that creating a "simpler, more agile and more focused business" will placate any unruly shareholders - indeed, Unilever said it picked the Netherlands because that's where the bulk of the company's shares are traded.

Marmite maker Unilever has delivered a blow to Theresa May's government by choosing Rotterdam over London for its corporate headquarters.

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

"Unilever's decision to pick the Netherlands over the U.K.is another sign of the weakening of the business environment in Britain since the referendum", Chris Bryant, a member of Parliament who supports staying in the bloc, said in a statement.

Unilever will be focused on three divisions - Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment.

It added that Unilever will continue to be listed in London, Amsterdam and NY.

Unilever announced a review of its dual-headed structure previous year, after it foiled a $143bn takeover offer from Kraft Heinz. Nick Potts/PA Q&A What brands does Unilever own? The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is a Unilever veteran himself.

The move also keeps Unilever's headquarters within the European Union after the U.K.'s expected departure from the bloc.

It will continue to be listed in London but long-term that could change now its single legal base is to be in Rotterdam.

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"The key issue here is that the link between this move and Brexit is more subtle than anti-Brexit campaigners may claim".

"The board takes a 30 to 50 year decision".

He added: "This is not about Brexit", and "both countries are attractive from an investment point of view".

The topic came to a head following the unsolicited bid by Kraft Heinz to takeover Unilever.

Unilever, a British-Dutch multinational, employs 169 thousand people world wide, including 7,500 in the United Kingdom and around 3 thousand in the Netherlands.

Forged by the 1930 merger of Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie and British soap maker Lever Brothers, Unilever employs almost 170,000 people around the world to generate turnover of 53.7 billion euros ($66 billion) in 2017.

Although run as one company, the distinct legal entities have different shareholders, separate stock listings and annual meetings and are subject to different laws and corporate governance requirements.

Earlier this year, Unilever reported better-than-expected growth in the fourth-quarter underlying sales driven by a step-up in emerging markets as its restructuring program continues to yield results.

David Cheetham, chief market analyst at XTB, said the reasoning seems "pretty logical" given that the Dutch business represents 55 percent of Unilever's overall share capital and that the shares listed in Amsterdam are more liquid than those in London.

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