Unilever last week announced the withdrawal of plans to move its headquarters to the Netherlands. The company said on Friday (5 October), that its board had withdrawn its proposal to move to the Netherlands after growing opposition by UK shareholders. The firm had decided to collapse its Anglo-Dutch structure following a business review sparked by last year’s failed $143bn takeover approach by Kraft-Heinz, with the aim being to make it “more efficient and agile in a fast-changing consumer market.”
However, last week Unilever said it recognised that the proposal had not received support from a significant group of shareholders and therefore it considers it appropriate to withdraw. “The board will now consider its next steps and will continue to engage with our shareholders,” chairman Marijn Dekkers said. He added that the company will proceed with the plan to cancel its Dutch preference shares. A chorus of approval followed the announcement with several stakeholders saying that they were pleased that Unilever “has listened to shareholders’ concerns and chosen to withdraw its proposal.”
The decision would have kicked Unilever out of the FTSE 100, forcing funds that track the benchmark index to sell their holdings without a premium, according to CNBC.