Dutch politicians have proposed a radical 'exit tax' for businesses that could scupper Unilever's bid to establish a sole headquarters in the UK.The p
Dutch politicians have proposed a radical ‘exit tax’ for businesses that could scupper Unilever’s bid to establish a sole headquarters in the UK.
The proposal from Left-wing opposition party GroenLinks would sting firms trying to relocate away from the Netherlands with huge bills.
The consumer goods group, which is consolidating its Anglo-Dutch dual structure into one London-based company, yesterday warned that the suggested law would cost it £10billion if enacted.
Unilever’s headquarters in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The firm is consolidating its Anglo-Dutch dual structure into one London-based company
This was so high that it would make plans to unify the company in the UK unviable, it added.
However, Unilever also said it believed the proposals were illegal and would breach European Union rules, as well as other international agreements signed by the Netherlands.
The law is being considered by the Netherlands’ Council of State, which will give an advisory opinion as to whether it is legal, and it would then have to be passed by both of the country’s legislative chambers. No date has been set for the council’s decision.
Unilever said it expected the relocation of its legal base to London to be finished by November.
The Anglo-Dutch firm announced it would become a single UK business in June after 90 years of having a dual structure with bases in both London and Rotterdam.
It will hold an extraordinary general meeting on September 21 for investors in the Netherlands to vote on the plan, while the meeting for UK-based shareholders will take place on October 12.
Its previous bid to relocate to the Netherlands in 2018 was called off by shareholder objections and a campaign by the Daily Mail.