Shell Announces Move of Headquarters from Netherlands to the UK
Oil giant, Royal Dutch Shell, has announced its intention to move its headquarters from the Hague to the UK in a bid to simplify the company’s share structure.
The Board of Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell) is asking shareholders to vote on a proposal under which Shell intends to change its share structure to establish a single line of shares. The company will also align its tax residence with its country of incorporation in the UK.
A statement issued by the company says, ‘The simplification is designed to strengthen Shell’s competitiveness and accelerate both shareholder distributions and the delivery of its strategy to become a net-zero emissions business.’
Shell’s Chair, Sir Andrew Mackenzie, said, ‘At a time of unprecedented change for the industry, it’s even more important that we have an increased ability to accelerate the transition to a lower-carbon global energy system. A simpler structure will enable Shell to speed up the delivery of its Powering Progress strategy, while creating value for our shareholders, customers and wider society.’
Shell has been incorporated in the UK with Dutch tax residence and a dual share structure since the 2005 unification of Koninklijke Nederlandsche Petroleum Maatschappij and The Shell Transport and Trading Company under a single parent company. It was not envisaged at the time of unification that the current A/B share structure would be permanent.
The company said, ‘Shell is proud of its Anglo-Dutch heritage and will continue to be a significant employer with a major presence in the Netherlands. Its Projects and Technology division, global Upstream and Integrated Gas businesses and renewable energies hub remain located in The Hague.’
It said, ‘Shell’s growing presence in wind projects off the Dutch coast, recent decision to build a world-scale low-carbon biofuels plant at the Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam, plan to build Europe’s biggest electrolyser in Rotterdam, and its intention to participate in the Porthos carbon capture and storage project, all underline the importance of the Netherlands to the company’s energy transition activities.’
The Dutch Government has said it is ‘unpleasantly surprised’ by the decision.
Economic Affairs and Climate Minister Stef Blok said, ‘The Cabinet regrets to the utmost that Shell wants to move its head office to the United Kingdom.’
He said, ‘We are in a dialogue with the management of Shell over the consequences of this plan for jobs, crucial investment decisions and sustainability.’
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