Dutch back Unilever’s UK headquarters move

Unilever is a step closer to establishing a sole UK headquarters after Dutch shareholders backed the consolidation plans. 

Since its creation via merger in 1930, the Anglo-Dutch group behind Dove soap and Marmite has had bases in London and Rotterdam. 

But under plans approved by investors in the Netherlands yesterday, there would be just a single legal base in the UK. It has stressed this will not affect its overall presence in either country. 

Switch: Since its creation via merger in 1930, the Anglo-Dutch group behind Dove soap and Marmite has had bases in London and Rotterdam

Switch: Since its creation via merger in 1930, the Anglo-Dutch group behind Dove soap and Marmite has had bases in London and Rotterdam

Switch: Since its creation via merger in 1930, the Anglo-Dutch group behind Dove soap and Marmite has had bases in London and Rotterdam

Unilever wants the changes, which it says will make its structure simple and easier for the purposes of deal-making, to take effect from November 22. 

And the final step is to win approval from British shareholders in a vote on October 12, which is expected to pass easily. 

Unilever began its push to restructure under previous management after a failed £112billion takeover approach by US rival Kraft Heinz in 2017.

It tried to base its headquarters in Rotterdam but changed course after a Mail campaign and opposition from investors. 

Chief executive Alan Jope said Unilever would press on despite recent proposals from a Dutch opposition party to impose an ‘exit tax’ if it quits the Netherlands. 

The company’s lawyers believe the move would violate international law. However, Unilever has said it could cancel the changes if the law was passed. 

Shares in the consumer goods group fell by 1.7 per cent. 

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