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Shell: Dutch government angered over HQ move to UK

, November 15, 2021, 0 Comments

The oil giant has announced it will take up a new tax residency and remove “Royal Dutch” from its name. The relocation follows a Dutch court order to slash its emissions by 2030.

shell-dutch-government-netherlands-marketexpress-inThe Dutch government said on Monday that it was “unpleasantly surprised” after the oil giant Shell announced it was moving its headquarters from The Hague to the UK.

Not only does the company intend to change its tax residency, but will also drop Royal Dutch from its full name after 130 years.

“We are unpleasantly surprised by this. The cabinet deeply regrets this intention,” Economic Affairs Minister Stef Blok said in a statement on Twitter.

How did stakeholders react?

Shell said in a statement on Monday that it “is proud of its Anglo-Dutch heritage and will continue to be a significant employer with a major presence in the Netherlands.”

“We are in talks with Shell about the implications of this move for jobs, critical investment decisions and sustainability. Those are hugely important,” Blok said.

“Shell has assured us that the personnel consequences of this decision will be limited to the relocation of a number of executive/board positions from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom,” he added.

UK Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng struck a different tone, writing on Twitter that he welcomed the “news Shell is proposing to relocate its Group HQ to the United Kingdom as part of their plans to accelerate the transition to clean energy.”

Why is Shell moving its headquarters?

Shell’s plans to relocate follow a number of major blows to the company in the Netherlands. The move is being considered a win for Brexit-hit London.

In April, a Dutch court ordered that the major carbon emitter must reduce its emissions by 45% by 2030 in what was seen as a big win for climate activists.

The country’s largest pension fund also announced that it was ending its investments in fossil fuel companies in October.

Shell said that several of its divisions would remain in The Hague, including technology and renewable energies. Shares will also continue to be listed in Amsterdam, alongside London and New York.

The fossil fuel company is following in the footsteps of consumer goods giant Unilever that merged its Dutch and British corporate entities, becoming a solely British company at the end of last year.

ab/rt (AFP, Reuters)