Unilever has abandoned plans to move its global headquarters from London to Rotterdam and combine its dual-headed legal entities into one Dutch corporate entity, following backlash from the company’s shareholders.
Earlier this year, the company stated that it would combine its two holding companies – one a UK PLC and the other a Dutch NV – into one unit incorporated in the Netherlands.
Unilever claimed that transitioning to a simplified corporate structure would create a simpler more focused company, allowing it to manage disposals and acquisitions in a more efficient manner.
However, a statement released by the company today claimed that the proposal was not supported by a “significant group of shareholders”, and the company has decided to cancel the plans as a result.
Unilever is one of the largest companies in the UK’s FTSE 100 share index, but the company would no longer be eligible as a member of the FTSE 100 under UK laws had the proposed change gone through.
This proposed change worried shareholders, who believed the change could spark a sell-off and drive down the value
of shares in the company.
Marijn Dekkers, Unilever’s chairman, said: “Unilever has built a long track record of consistent and competitive performance.
“The board continues to believe that simplifying our dual-headed structure would, over time, provide opportunities to further accelerate value creation and serve the best long-term interests of Unilever.
“The board will now consider its next steps and will continue to engage with our shareholders. We will proceed with the plan to cancel the NV preference shares, further strengthening our corporate governance.”