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Unilever chooses Rotterdam over London for corporate HQ

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
London/Rotterdam (dpa) - Consumer goods multinational Unilever will have its main headquarters in Rotterdam and be registered in the Netherlands as one legal entity, rather than being based in both London and Rotterdam.

The maker of Magnum ice-creams, Dove brand toiletries, Marmite and Lipton tee announced the move to "simplify the company‘s corporate structure" on Thursday, after nearly 100 years with a dual base.

Unilever boss Paul Polman insisted that Britain‘s departure from the European Union next year was not a factor in the decision.

"This has nothing to do with Brexit," he told the BBC. "These are decisions that are made for 30- and 50-year horizons ... and in no way has Brexit played a role in it."

The firm‘s statement noted that the Dutch government is planning to abolish a dividend withholding tax from 1 January 2020. The measure is designed to make the Netherlands more attractive to multinationals like Unilever, but is a much-debated political topic and is expected to cost the Dutch treasury some 1.4 billion euros (1.7 billion dollars) per year.

Unilever will still keep its offices in London, and there will be little disruption to the workforce, the firm said. About 100 jobs will move to Rotterdam.

The firm will reorganize into three divisions, and two of those would still be headquartered in London.

Unilever employs some 170,000 people worldwide, and was formed in 1930 by a merger of the Dutch Margarine Union and the British soap maker Lever Brothers.


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