Anglo-Dutch oil company Royal Dutch Shell wants to abandon its complex stake structure and move its headquarters from the Netherlands to Great Britain for tax reasons. The oil giant wants to keep its investors on board as well as defuse the conflict with activist shareholder Third Point.
The group announced on Monday that a simpler share structure would make it easier for Shell to buy back its shares. Shareholders will vote on this on December 10th. But the name of the group was also changed: “Royal Dutch” is no longer applicable, and in the future the multinational oil company will operate only under the name “Shell”. Shell also wants to move its tax headquarters from the Netherlands to Great Britain.
The Dutch government spoke of an “unpleasant surprise” and the government in London welcomed the plans. Shell shares rose early in the morning on the London Stock Exchange.
Shell, like other major oil companies, is under increasing pressure from governments and investors to decarbonize its operations. The company has already abandoned its fossil fuel business while increasing its share of renewable energies. Shell has said it wants to become climate neutral by 2050, but is under pressure to do more, faster. Investor Third Point also wants to break up the group, but management has already rejected such demands.
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