Home LATEST NEWS Shell shareholders vote overwhelmingly to move headquarters to London

Shell shareholders vote overwhelmingly to move headquarters to London


Chairman of the Board Andrew Mackenzie in an official document praised the resounding shareholder support, of which 99.77% voted in favor of the proposals at an assembly in Rotterdam.

The group will therefore transfer its tax residence and senior executives to London, including CEO Ben van Beurden. The firm will keep its 8,500 employees in the Netherlands.

The transfer strengthen Shell’s competitiveness and accelerate both shareholder distributions and the implementation of its strategy to become a net zero emissions energy company by 2050, in tune with society, he said in a statement.

The board must formally approve the plans before they come into effect as soon as possible, Mackenzie said.

The largest energy company in Europe wants to simplify its structure and align its tax residence with the country in which it is registered, the United Kingdom, where it would also relocate its governing bodies.

The transfer, the announcement of which in November had the effect of a bomb, will also allow it to accelerate its transition to net zero emissions, assures the group.

We have always been and will continue to be very proud of the importance of the Netherlands to our heritage.Mr. Mackenzie said.

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The Dutch government’s abandonment of plans to eliminate a dividend tax weighed in the balance, admitted Mackenzie. He denied, however, that the move was prompted by a Dutch court ruling earlier this year that Shell had to cut emissions.

Royal Dutch Shell announced its proposed move on November 15, sparking outrage in the Netherlands.

Royal Dutch Shell was born in 1907 from the merger of Koninklijke Nederlandsche Petroleum Maatschappij and British society Shell Transport and Trading.

The move will deprive the Netherlands of its biggest company and Royal Dutch would also be removed from the name for the first time in 130 years, to keep only Shell.

Shell is the second major company to leave for London after Unilever last year.

Shell pushed to move?

Shell has been repeatedly criticized by environmental organizations. This year, a Dutch court ruled that Shell must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, a historic victory for environmental activists.

At the end of October, an investment company activist, Third point, had called for the dismantling of Shell, citing a strategy considered contradictory between hydrocarbons and energy transition.

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Several shareholders asked Shell senior executives on Friday whether their plans were doing enough to tackle climate change. The transfer will make the business more flexible during its transition away from fossil fuels, according to Mr. Mackenzie, who stressed that he will not have impact on the court’s decision.

He also sought to play down his comments in November that the company had also been driving to UK by the decision of the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in 2018 to abandon his plan to abolish a tax on dividends from large companies.

Many factors were taken into account in the decision, he said.

Shell’s departure will mean billions of euros in lost taxes for the Dutch state, according to local media.

In return, The Hague could demand a departure tax valued at around 400 million euros by Shell. But Mr. Mackenzie felt that the likelihood of that happening was weak.

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