Shareholders approve Shell plans to move HQ to UK
Shareholders have voted overwhelmingly in favour of Royal Dutch Shell’s (Shell) ambitious plans to ditch its dual-share structure and move its headquarters to London from the Hague, according to Reuters.
The changes were backed by 99.8 per cent of votes in Rotterdam on Friday.
The plans were first announced by the Anglo-Dutch company’s board last month.
It has since held talks with investors over recent weeks to convince them of the merits of the new changes.
The oil giant has been at loggerheads with Dutch authorities over its 15 per cent dividend tax – and believes the move to the UK will make share buybacks and paying dividends easier.
The company launched its $7bn buyback scheme for shareholders earlier this month after the sale of its Permian assets.
The new single-share structure combined with its British tax residence will resolve the issue in Shell’s favour, as the UK does not levy a dividend withholding tax.
It has also faced continued legal pressure, with the courts ordering it to reduce its carbon emissions by 45 per cent before the end of the decade.
Shell has also had to fend off pressure from activist group Third Point – who have taken on a $750m stake in Shell and called for its break-up.
The plan will see the company lose its “Royal Dutch” title, which it has held for over a century.
Board members will meet later to make a final decision, with the move planned for early 2022.
Shares are up 0.42 per cent on the FTSE 100 at 1423 GMT.