Unilever axes move from London to Rotterdam

Unilever had originally unveiled the planned headquarters switch to Rotterdam, above, in March in a symbolic decision that was largely interpreted by analysts as a blow to post-Brexit Britain. (Reuters)
Updated 05 October 2018
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Unilever axes move from London to Rotterdam

LONDON: Anglo-Dutch consumer giant Unilever on Friday axed its post-Brexit plan to move its main headquarters from London to Rotterdam amid shareholder unease.
The group, which makes famous brands like yeast extract Marmite, PG Tips tea, Persil washing powder and Magnum ice cream, said it was withdrawing a proposal that would have seen its corporate base move to the Netherlands.
“The Unilever board has today decided to withdraw its proposal to simplify Unilever’s dual-headed legal structure,” the company said in a statement.
The group had originally unveiled the planned switch in March in a symbolic decision that was largely interpreted by analysts as a blow to post-Brexit Britain.
A Unilever spokeswoman confirmed it would no longer seek to relocate away from the British capital.
“In developing the proposal, the board was guided by the opportunity to unlock value for our shareholders by creating a stronger, simpler and more competitive Unilever that is better positioned for long-term success,” the statement added.
“We have had an extensive period of engagement with shareholders and have received widespread support for the principle behind simplification.
“However, we recognize that the proposal has not received support from a significant group of shareholders and therefore consider it appropriate to withdraw.”
Unilever had in recent weeks faced mounting opposition from key shareholders, including Royal London, Columbia Threadneedle, Legal & General Investment Management, Aviva Investors, Lindsell Train, M&G Investments and Brewin Dolphin.
However, chairman Marijn Dekkers insisted on Friday that the board continued to believe simplifying Unilever’s structure remains in the firm’s best interests.
“Unilever has built a long track record of consistent and competitive performance,” Dekkers said.
“The board continues to believe that simplifying our dual-headed structure would, over time, provide opportunities to further accelerate value creation and serve the best long-term interests of Unilever.
“The board will now consider its next steps and will continue to engage with our shareholders.”


Petroleum Development Oman to help create job opportunities for 21,000 locals

Updated 38 min 44 sec ago
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Petroleum Development Oman to help create job opportunities for 21,000 locals

  • ‘We aim to create 21,000 job opportunities in 2019, and we are confident that we can achieve that number’

DUBAI: State-owned Petroleum Development Oman expects to create 21,000 job opportunities for Omanis this year through the oil exploration and production company’s training opportunities and other undertakings.

“We aim to create 21,000 job opportunities in 2019, and we are confident that we can achieve that number. These are real opportunities that lead to direct employment once the training is completed,” Raoul Restucci, the managing director of PDO, told the Times of Oman.

“A lot of the opportunities we are promoting today exist outside the oil and gas sector, whether it be in tourism, manufacture or logistics. While some of these jobs will be created by PDO, many of the Omanis will be employed by other organizations once they complete their PDO funded on-the-job training.”

The prospective jobs would be spread across multiple sectors – from oil and gas, manufacturing, tourism to logistics – as PDO works with the government in pushing the Omanization agenda.

PDO’s Restucci noted the company has already created more than 5,000 job opportunities so far this year. Meanwhile, the Omanization rate for PDO has reached 81 percent and the company’s target is to reach 90 percent by 2020.

“… the oil and gas sectors are highly Omanized, and where you have expatriates, is where you have a gap in skills, or more likely, experience,” Restucci said.