Home Brexit Unilever axes London HQ but insists move ‘not linked to Brexit’

Unilever axes London HQ but insists move ‘not linked to Brexit’

15th Mar 18 9:30 am

Anglo-Dutch giant picks Rotterdam over London

In a massive blow to the government almost a year before Brexit, Britain’s third biggest company Unilever has announced that it will scrap its London headquarters and make Rotterdam its sole legal home.

The maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream insisted that move to Rotterdam will simplify its structure, improve its corporate governance and help enable takeover deals.

Talking about the choice to end 88 years of operating with two parent companies, Unilever’s chief executive Paul Polman said: “This is not about Brexit”.

“The opposite is true. We would not be investing in our two headquarters here for the two divisions in the UK. We would not have secured the £1bn spending if that were the case.

“Both countries are very attractive from an investment point of view. We have a long history here that we are proud of and we’re happy that we can continue to build on that.”

The company will continue to be listed on the London and New York stock exchanges but as one single Dutch corporate entity.

It said its 7,300 UK workers would be unaffected by the changes and its personal care and home care divisions will continue to be based in London.

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