Unilever HQ to move to Rotterdam

Unilever has announced that it will move its headquarters from London to the Dutch city of Rotterdam, according to BBC News.

The international giant said having a single legal entity in the Netherlands would enable it to become ‘more agile’ and stressed that the decision was ‘not about Brexit.’

The Anglo-Dutch company has been headquartered in the Uk since 1930, when British soap manufacturers Lever Brothers merged with the Dutch margarine makers Unie. Since then, the company has become one of the world’s best known brands.

Unilever said it would reorganise its business around three divisions of beauty and personal care, home care and foods and refreshment. The beauty and personal care and home care divisions will be based in London while foods and refreshment move to Rotterdam.

Unilever employs 3,100 people in the Netherlands and 7,300 people in the UK. The company has said no jobs will be lost during the move, but some staff may transfer as the shake up means senior figures will move to the UK from the US and Singapore.

In recent months there has been speculation that Unilever would make the move. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, a former Unilever employee, proposed a tax change that would benefit Anglo-Dutch multinationals.

Unilever is run as a single company but it has two parent companies, one based in London and one in Rotterdam. Each has different shareholders, stock listings, annual meetings and regulatory environments.