Unilever scraps plan to move headquarters from London to Rotterdam
October 10, 2018
Anglo-Dutch food giant Unilever announced on 5 October that it had scrapped its plan to move its corporate headquarters from London to Rotterdam.
The maker of Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Magnum ice cream had announced in September that it was scrapping its company structure of two legal entities (UK and Dutch) to become one single holding company, having reviewed its corporate structure after an attempted US$143bn takeover by Kraft Heinz last year.
However, the plan was rejected by a significant group of UK institutional shareholders in the UK.
“UK shareholders were concerned that once Unilever shifted its domicile to the Netherlands, it would be removed from the FTSE 100 index,” the Financial Times wrote.
“This would have forced funds that track the FTSE 100, as well as many active funds, to sell their Unilever stock.”
Unilever chairman Marijn Dekkers said the board would now consider its next steps but “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”.
Unilever buys around 1M tonnes of crude palm oil and 0.5M tonnes of palm kernel oil and derivatives every year for use in food products such as mayonnaise, salad dressings, chocolate and ice cream.