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Anglo-Dutch company Unilever to become British holding

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-06-11 21:49
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FILE PHOTO: Traffic and people pass by the front of the Unilever building in central London, Britain, March 15, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

THE HAGUE -- British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever on Thursday announced plans to unify its legal structure under a single parent company headquartered in London.

According to a statement by Unilever, the goal of the structure change is to create a simpler, more flexible company, better positioned for future success.

"After a comprehensive review over the last 18 months, the board continues to believe that moving from the current dual-headed legal structure to a single parent company will bring significant benefits," Unilever stated.

In March 2018, Unilever, producer of consumer goods brands, including Lipton tea, Dove soap, Axe deodorant and Magnum and Ben and Jerry's ice cream, announced that it intended to change from two legal entities into one single legal entity. However, at that time the plan was to become incorporated and tax-resident in the Netherlands, with Rotterdam as single headquarters.

This plan of 2018 meant Unilever would leave London as headquarters. Pressured by a group of British shareholders who turned against the plan, Unilever abandoned that move half a year later.

Unilever has been owned through two separately listed companies, a Dutch NV and a British PLC, since its formation in 1930. The unification will now be implemented through a cross-border merger between Unilever PLC and Unilever NV into one Unilever PLC.

Unilever will maintain its listings on the Amsterdam, London and New York stock exchanges. According to the company nothing will change in its presence in the Netherlands and no jobs will be lost.

The headquarters of Unilever's foods and refreshment division will continue to be based in Rotterdam and the research and development center will stay in Wageningen, the central Netherlands.

"Unilever is very proud of its Anglo-Dutch heritage and has significantly strengthened its presence in the Netherlands in recent years," Unilever stated. "We have engaged with the Dutch government ahead of this announcement and have confirmed that our commitment to the Netherlands will not change as a result of this proposal."

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