Unilever to dump dual HQ structure
7 February 2005, AMSTERDAM — Anglo-Dutch food and household goods giant Unilever is poised to unveil a radical shake-up of its corporate structure this week that could lead to the establishment of a single head office in London.
7 February 2005
AMSTERDAM — Anglo-Dutch food and household goods giant Unilever is poised to unveil a radical shake-up of its corporate structure this week that could lead to the establishment of a single head office in London.
The Rotterdam and London-based company presently has two head offices, resulting from the merger in 1930 of Britain's Lever Brothers and Dutch margarine firm Van Den Bergh.
But sources claim that the policy will be abandoned and overall control of Unilever will shift towards London. This is despite fierce resistance from the Dutch, website www.thisislondon.co.uk reported on Monday.
Current joint chairman Patrick Cescau is expected to be appointed chief executive, while the company's other chairman, Antony Burgmans, will remain chairman under the new arrangement.
Unilever — which boasts products such as Flora margarine, Hellman's mayonnaise, Persil washing powder and Dove soap — is expected to make the announcement when the company issues its 2004 report on Thursday.
The firm is expected to stop short of scrapping its dual stock exchange listings in the Netherlands and Britain. It is also thought unlikely Unilever will announce it is merging its two pools of capital spread between the two stock exchanges, newspaper The Independent reported.
Recovering from its reserves scandal, Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell decided last year to drop its two-board structure and unite as one company. The company will be based in the Netherlands, but its shares are to be listed in London.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news