Unilever chooses Rotterdam over London for head office

Unilever (Photo: M.Minderhoud/Wikimedia Commons)Unilever (Photo: M.Minderhoud/Wikimedia Commons)

Unilever's head office will be in Rotterdam, the company's board of directors announced on Thursday.

Unilever, a British-Dutch multinational, employs 169 thousand people world wide, including 7,500 in the U.K. and around 3 thousand in the Netherlands. The company currently has a shared headquarters in London and in Rotterdam. The entire head office employs 100 people - 60 in London and 40 in Rotterdam. 

The London office will now close.

Unilever previously stated that the decision to continue with only one head office has nothing to do with the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union. The decision was made to simplify its management structure, and to protect Unilever better against hostile takeovers. Last year Kraft Heinz made persistent attempts to acquire Unilver. The Netherlands has more rules that can help protect a company against hostile takeovers, according to NOS.

Last month government officials in the United Kingdom said they are convinced that the Brexit is directly involved in Unilever's decision to base its head office to the Netherlands. On Thursday the British government said that the decision is not linked to the Brexit. "It's decision to transfer a small number of jobs to a corporate headquarters in the Netherlands is part of a long term restructuring of the company and is not connected to the U.K.'s departure from the EU", a spokesperson for the Business Ministry said, according to Reuters.