Unilever announced it is establishing its global headquarters in Rotterdam in an effort to transform the company into a more simple, agile and focused business. This move will simplify Unilever from its current two-legal entity structure, NV and PLC, into one legal entity based in the Netherlands. Unilever’s 7,300 employees in the UK and 3,100 employees in the Netherlands are not expected be affected by these changes.
Under the previously established “Connected 4 Growth” program, Unilever is reorganizing into three divisions: Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment. The headquarters of the Beauty & Personal Care Division and the Home Care Division will be based in London, and the headquarters of the Foods & Refreshment Division will remain in Rotterdam.
Shares in NV currently account for about 55% of the group’s combined ordinary share capital and are traded with greater liquidity than the PLC shares. The proposed change is expected to provide greater flexibility for changes to Unilever’s strategic portfolio and will help drive long-term performance, Unilever said in a statement. The changes also create for the first time in the company’s history a “one share, one vote” principle for all shareholders.
Unilever will continue to be listed in London, Amsterdam and New York.