November 16, 2021 Read More →

Shell announces plan to move headquarters from Netherlands to UK

Wall Street Journal ($):

Royal Dutch Shell PLC plans to consolidate its dual British and Dutch structure and relocate its headquarters to London, a move it said would help facilitate returns to shareholders and make it simpler to change up its portfolio of assets.

The oil giant said Monday that bringing an end to its complex structure should also make it easier for investors to value the company, at the same time it has committed to transitioning to low-carbon energy. Shell’s shares in London traded 2.1% higher after the announcement.

Under the plan, the company’s headquarters will be in the U.K., rather than The Hague, and its chief executive and board meetings relocated to Britain. The company would also take up tax residence in the U.K., instead of the Netherlands. The restructure envisions a name change, the oil company said, that would drop the Royal Dutch designation it has held for more than 130 years to become just Shell.

The proposal, which is set to be put to a shareholder vote next month, comes as Shell faces increasing pressure from investors and environmental groups over its carbon emissions.

Just weeks ago, activist investor Third Point LLC said it had built a stake in Shell and called for the breakup of the company to improve its environmental and financial performance. Shell has since defended its business model, saying its strategy and customers were best served by retaining the collection of assets and that its legacy oil and natural-gas operations were needed to fund its investments in lower-carbon energy. Third Point didn’t address Shell’s share structure in its note to its own investors, in which it contemplated possible improvements to the company. Third Point hasn’t publicly asked Shell to address its structure and declined to comment on the company’s plans Monday.

[Sarah McFarlane]

More: Shell to Move Headquarters to London Amid Energy Transition

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