AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company Unilever (ULVR.L) (UNA.AS) said in a filing on Monday that a plan to unify its headquarters in London and scrap its Dutch base might not go ahead – if a law enacting an “exit tax” in the Netherlands is enacted.

Unilever said the law, if passed, would mean it needs to pay 11 billion euros ($12.94 billion) to the Dutch government.

It is not clear whether the law, proposed by the opposition Green Left political party, is in accordance with Dutch and European law, or whether it would win majority support in the Dutch parliament.

The Netherlands’ Council of State is considering the proposed law and will give an advisory opinion as to whether it is legal. It has not set a date for its decision.

Unilever said it did not think the Green Left plan was legal.

“Nevertheless, if the bill were enacted in its present form, the boards believe that proceeding with unification, if it resulted in an exit tax charge of some 11 billion euros, would not be in the best interests of Unilever,” it said.

The remarks were published on Monday as part of a shareholders’ circular ahead of a Sept. 21 extraordinary meeting in Rotterdam to approve the unification.

Taxes have played a pivotal role in Unilever’s decision-making as it tries to simpify its dual structure: it had initially decided to unify headquarters in Rotterdam, in 2018.

But it cancelled those plans after the Dutch government decided to retain a 15% withholding tax on dividends.

Britain does not impose a withholding tax on dividends.

($1 = 0.8503 euros)

Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by Barbara Lewis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Governors disregarding White House guidelines on reopening

Many governors across the U.S. are disregarding or creatively interpreting White House guidelines for safely easing restrictions and letting businesses reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, an Associated Press analysis found. The AP determined that 17 states did not meet a…

For small businesses, survival may hinge on closing streets

Washington, DC (CNN)The hottest table at Jason Fernandez’s restaurants in Tampa is an unusual spot — the middle of 7th Avenue. Fernandez began reopening his three restaurants this month after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said restaurants could serve customers on…

U.S. manufacturing snaps back; resurgence in COVID-19 cases seen slowing momentum

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. factory output rose by the most in more than 74 years in June as motor vehicle production accelerated amid the reopening of businesses, but the nascent recovery in manufacturing activity was overshadowed by surging new COVID-19…

Qantas cancels international flights until October. New Zealand may be the exception

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Australian flagship carrier Qantas (QABSY) has canceled most of its international flights for the next four months on the expectation that the coronavirus pandemic will last through most of the year. “With Australia’s borders set to remain…