THE HAGUE, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Pressured by a group of shareholders, Unilever abandoned its plan to leave London and continue with single headquarters in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company announced on Friday.
In March this year Unilever, producer of among other brands, Lipton tea, Dove soap, Axe deodorant and Magnum and Ben and Jerry's ice cream, announced that it intended to change from two legal entities into one single legal entity, incorporated and tax-resident in the Netherlands, with Rotterdam as single headquarters.
Unilever has been owned through two separately listed companies, a Dutch N.V. and a UK PLC, since its formation in 1930.
In March the board concluded that a single holding company would bring greater simplicity and more flexibility. However, a growing number of, especially British investors, turned against the move, and ahead of a voting later this month the company now decided to cancel the proposal.
"We have had an extensive period of engagement with shareholders and have received widespread support for the principle behind simplification," Unilever stated in a press release. "However, we recognize that the proposal has not received support from a significant group of shareholders and therefore consider it appropriate to withdraw."
"The board continues to believe that simplifying our dual-headed structure would, over time, provide opportunities to further accelerate value creation and serve the best long-term interests of Unilever," board chairman Marijn Dekkers stated. "The board will now consider its next steps and will continue to engage with our shareholders."