Unilever now a Dutch firm, retains 2 divisions in London

 By Tunde Osho

Unilever has announced changes in its corporate and governance structure, the highlight of which is that it will now be one company incorporated in the Netherlands.

In a statement today, the company said it has unified its two legal entities, N.V. and PLC, into a single legal entity incorporated in the Netherlands.

It however, said it will continue to be listed in London, Amsterdam and New York.

The company also said it has evolved into three divisions, Beauty and Personal care, Home Care and Foods and Refreshments.

London is still important to the company’s operation, according to the statement. It said the headquarters of the Beauty & Personal Care Division and the Home Care Division will be located in London.

“This secures nearly £1 billion per year of continued spend in the UK, including a significant commitment to R&D.

“The headquarters of the Foods & Refreshment Division will continue to be based in Rotterdam”, it said.

Unilever’s employment of 7,300 people in the UK and 3,100 people in the Netherlands will be unaffected by the changes, it said.

According to chairman Marijn Dekkers: “Unilever’s Board is fully committed to delivering long-term performance and sustainable value for shareholders. The Board believes the move to three Divisions and the simplification of our corporate structure will create a simpler, more agile and more focused company with increased strategic flexibility for value-creating portfolio change.

“Our decision to headquarter the Divisions in the UK and the Netherlands underscores our long-term commitment to both countries. The changes announced today also further strengthen Unilever’s corporate governance, creating for the first time in our history a ‘one share, one vote’ principle for all our shareholders.”