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Dutch government rushes to keep Shell in Netherlands


Dutch government rushes to keep Shell in Netherlands

Shell looks to keep investors on board by ditching Dutch base

Tom Wilson, Joshua Oliver and David Sheppard in London and Mehreen Khan in Brussels

Royal Dutch Shell’s decision to move its chief executive and tax residence from the Netherlands to the UK sparked dismay in The Hague and rare political cheer in London. But the most immediate impact of the restructuring will have little to do with politics, jobs or even Shell’s tax burden. Instead, executives and analysts say, it has much more to do with the oil and gas group’s need to keep shareholders happy as it attempts a challenging shift to greener forms of energy.


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The company’s current set-up, with two lines of shares, dates back to 2005. Its Dutchness, though, goes back much further: to the merger of Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and the Shell Transport and Trading Company in 1907. However, a mere six months after it suffered a shock defeat in a Dutch court over its plans to cut emissions, the company is asking investors to bless a move to London, albeit one that leaves its shares trading in Amsterdam. The timing, then, is suspect.


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