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Shell loses the title of “Royal Dutch” after moving to the United Kingdom. Very sad and unfortunate

Ben Van Burden. The CEO of Shell before the start of the shareholder meeting in Scheveningen. Photo: ANP | BART MAAT

Oil and gas company Shell will also lose its royal title, Royal Dutch, with an imminent move to the United Kingdom.

Ben van Beurden, Shell’s chief executive, says the company is no longer claiming the situation due to the relocation of its headquarters. Van Beurden describes losing the title as “particularly painful and unfortunate”. Shell will propose a name change to shareholders at a meeting on December 10, as Royal Dutch disappears from the name.

Some employees are moving to London

Shell announced earlier on Monday that it wants to move its headquarters to the United Kingdom. Van Beurden stresses that the change will have little impact on jobs in the Netherlands, with the exception of a few employees relocating to London in the wake of Van Beurden and Chief Financial Officer Jessica Ull. Shell has approximately 8,500 employees in the Netherlands.

Nor does the switch affect sustainability investment decisions and plans. Van Beurden explains that many of Shell’s sustainability plans, for example, began in Rijnmond and Moerdijk. The same may also apply to Groningen, where Shell is focusing on hydrogen. “We can’t win in Europe without the Netherlands,” said the CEO.

Profit tax will be abolished

According to Shell, this move has no effect on the payment of taxes in the Netherlands. The move is expected to cost the company up to 400 million euros at a time. Since the merger of Koninklijke Nederlandsche Petroleum Maatschappij and Shell Transport and Trading Company in 2005, there has been talk of simplifying the structure, according to Van Burden.

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For years, Shell assumed that the dividend tax would also be abolished in the Netherlands, as in the United Kingdom, which would allow the merger of British and Dutch stocks without major problems. But this decision was not made, after which Shell drew its conclusions.

Moving on next year’s path

According to Van Beurden, there was no talk of a complete move to the Netherlands on paper. As with Unilever, Shell shareholders did not agree, he said. By becoming an all-Dutch Shell company on paper, it will, among other things, lose its place in the leading stock index FTSE in London. Many shareholders did not accept this. With the switch to London, Shell will continue to be included in the AEX index in Amsterdam.

Shell will also submit a request for advice on changing the structure to the Labor Council later on Monday. Although the impact on employees is limited, there are a number of changes that a business board must consider, van Beurden explains. According to the CEO, if the shareholders agree and/or agree, it means that the board of directors is free to implement the changes. This step is expected to be completed within the next year.

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