Unilever cancels move out of London

British-Dutch FMGC producer Unilever has decided to remain in the United Kingdom, despite Brexit. It has cancelled its earlier decision to move its headquarters to Rotterdam and keeps its double passport.

 

London or Rotterdam? Both!

The company wanted to move to Rotterdam to simplify its structure, which stems from the 1930 merger between British Lever Brothers and Dutch Margarine Unie. The double British-Dutch structure however is very complex and costly, and the management had decided to become a Dutch-only company last March. This was a huge victory for Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, who cancelled a tax on dividends in order to convince multinationals like Unilever to have their headquarters in the Netherlands. 

 

The decision however was very unpopular with British shareholders, as the company would be removed of the main London stock exchange FTSE 100, and the management now bows to the British command. However, the producer of international brands like Dove, Lipton and Magnum says the move is not definitively scrapped: "The board of directors continues to believe that a simplified structure offers more possibilities for the creation of value", president Marijn Dekkers is quoted saying in Belgian newspaper De Tijd.