THE WHAT? Unilever shareholders have voted in an overwhelming majority in favor of unifying its headquarters in the UK, according to a report by Bloomberg.
THE DETAILS More than 99 percent of investors within the UK entity voted in favor of ending dual nationality during a shareholder meeting, a move that matched the majority vote of Dutch investors.
The decision follows a previous withdrawal of a unification proposal by previous CEO Paul Polman.
THE WHY? The move to end dual nationality and streamline operations has been on the table for some time, with the divisive business structure said to hinder takeovers and disposals. The vote to unify its headquarters in the UK gives rise to speculation that the company could up its M&A activity.
The plans to simplify its dual-structure was in jeopardy due to the hurdle of the potential ‘departure tax’ proposed by minority Dutch Green Party, which aims to tax corporate exits.
Unilever stated that the tax would have made its move ‘prohibitively expensive.’ However, this week the Netherlands’ Council of State has advised that an ‘Exit Tax’ bill proposed by the Dutch parliament would be ‘irresponsible’.