Unilever, owner of the Marmite, Flora, Knorr and Colman’s brands amongst others, has announced it has chosen the Netherlands as its single legal base, as part of its plans to restructure the company.
The company said it intends to simplify from two legal entities, N.V. and PLC, into a single legal entity incorporated in the Netherlands, but highlighted that it will continue to be listed in London, Amsterdam and New York.
In addition, the headquarters of the Foods & Refreshment Division will continue to be based in Rotterdam, while the headquarters of the Beauty & Personal Care Division and the Home Care Division will be located in London.
According to the company, this secures nearly £1 billion per year of continued spend in the UK, including a significant commitment to R&D.
Unilever clarified that its 7,300 employees in the UK and 3,100 employees in the Netherlands will be unaffected by the changes announced.
Marijn Dekkers, chairman of Unilever, commented: “Unilever’s board is fully committed to delivering long-term performance and sustainable value for shareholders. The board believes the move to three divisions and the simplification of our corporate structure will create a simpler, more agile and more focused company with increased strategic flexibility for value-creating portfolio change.
“Our decision to headquarter the divisions in the UK and the Netherlands underscores our long-term commitment to both countries. The changes announced today also further strengthen Unilever’s corporate governance, creating for the first time in our history a ‘one share, one vote’ principle for all our shareholders.”