Shell to Shift Tax Base to UK, Ditch Dual Share Structure

Royal Dutch shell said on Monday it would scrap its dual share structure and move its head office to Britain from the Netherlands, pushed away-by Dutch taxes and facing climate pressure in court as the energy giant shifts from oil and gas.

The company, which long faced questions from investors about its dual structure and had recently been hit by a Dutch court order over its climate targets, aims to drop “Royal Dutch” from its name-part of its identity since 1907-to become Shell Plc.

The Anglo-Dutch firm has been in a long-running tussle with the Dutch authorities over the country’s 15% dividend withholding tax, which shell sought to avoid paying with its two share classes. Its new single structure would resolve that issue and allow Shell to strike swifter sale of acquisition deals.

In a further knock to its relations with the Netherlands, the biggest Dutch state pension fund ABP said last month it would drop shell and all fossil fuels from its portfolio.

The Dutch government said on Monday it was “unpleasantly surprised” by Shell’s plans to move to London from The Hague.

The decision will, however, be seen as a vote of confidence in London after Britain’s exit from the European Union triggered a shift in billions of euros in daily share trading from the UK capital to Amsterdam. Shell’s shares, which will still be traded in Amsterdam and New York under the plan, climbed more than 2% in London on Monday morning after the newa.

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