Unilever stays in London

FEW companies can beat Unilever at marketing stuff, whether a bar of Dove soap, a box of Knorr bouillon cubes or a jar of Marmite savoury spread. Its bosses have proved rather less successful at pitching to their own investors. On October 5th Unilever’s board scrapped its plans to quit Britain in favour of the Netherlands after its own shareholders had balked at the move. There is enough egg on management’s faces to blend a jumbo tub of Hellmann’s mayonnaise.

The plan to simplify Unilever’s Anglo-Dutch structure was meant to be the parting triumph of Paul Polman, its chief executive for nearly a decade, who is expected to retire soon. Scrapping the firm’s dual holding companies, the legacy of the merger of the Netherlands’ Margarine Unie and Britain’s soapmaking Lever Brothers in 1929, would make the company more agile, its bosses had boasted. Rotterdam was pitched as the company’s new home in March, after months of boardroom deliberations. Its headquarters in London would be...

via Business Feeds

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