Anglo-Dutch Unilever aims to shed its dual nationality and become fully British by the end of November, following shareholders’ meetings in both countries. However, the Dutch may consider countermeasures.
Two more votes
FMCG producer Unilever, owner of brands like Dove and Knorr, has chosen to drop its Dutch identity and become fully British last June. It has now announced the necessary steps and dates in this process: the company hopes the weekend of 21 and 22 November is the end date for the transfer, Belgian newspaper het Nieuwsblad reports.
The first hurdle is an exceptional shareholders’ meeting for the Dutch shareholders, to be held on 21 September. If they accept the plans, the British branch will hold a vote on 12 October. As the decision to remove itself from the Netherlands has come after 18 months of careful deliberation with the shareholders and other stakeholders, nobody expects a vote against the plans.
However, the Dutch parliament may still oppose the move. Unilever is worth an annual 200 million euros in dividend taxes and the Dutch parliament is now considering an 11 billion euro fine in compensation. It is debating a proposal to call the move away from the Netherlands ‘tax avoidance’, and Unilever has now stated it “is not in the interest of shareholders” to leave the Netherlands should the bill become law.