Consumer goods giant reverses previous attempt to shift to Netherlands

Unilever is to abandon its dual Anglo-Dutch corporate structure in favour of a single company in London, reversing attempts two years ago to combine its two arms in the Netherlands.
The maker of Marmite, Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream said on Thursday it would merge its Dutch entity into its UK arm, Unilever plc, after 90 years of the two-headed structure.
The structure is a legacy of Unilever’s formation from the merger of a Dutch margarine company and British soap maker Lever Brothers more than 90 years ago. 
The consumer goods group said the shift would make equity-based acquisitions or demergers easier, including a potential spin-off of its tea division.
“Such flexibility is even more important as we anticipate the increasingly dynamic business environment that the Covid-19 pandemic will create,” it said.
The company said it expected to retain its listing in both the FTSE 100 and Dutch AEX indices and would remain listed on exchanges in London, Amsterdam and New York. It said operations in both the UK and Netherlands would remain the same.
The move is expected to be implemented towards the end of 2020.
A plan two years ago to merge the UK into the Dutch entity was scrapped after shareholder opposition, in part because it would have dropped out of the FTSE 100 after abandoning its London listing.