Unilever picks Rotterdam over London as corporate HQ
The changes will further drive long-term performance and shareholder value, and build upon company's Connected 4 Growth programme.
Unilever said the choice to end 88 years of operating with two parent companies was not linked to Brexit or protectionism, but would simplify its structure, improve its corporate governance and help enable takeover deals.
Unilever was forced to rethink its structure after it had to fight off one of the biggest takeovers ever proposed in 2017.
Unilever rejected the offer and Kraft walked away in a matter of days but the incident was enough to force the company to pledge to improve its operations.
As part of the restructuring, Unilever will create three divisions with Beauty & Personal Care and the Home Care units being headquartered in London. The Foods & Refreshment division will be based in Rotterdam.
“This secures nearly 1 billion pounds per year of continued spend in the UK, including a significant commitment to R&D,” it said.
Unilever had held talks with the governments of both countries in the run-up to its decision and the move will be seen as a blow to Prime Minister May who is locked in talks with Brussels over the country’s departure from the EU on March 29, 2019. ■