Anglo-Dutch supermajor Shell is seeking shareholder approval to establish a single equity line, move its tax residence and top executives from the Netherlands to the UK and drop Royal Dutch from its name.
Under the proposal announced Monday, Shell intends to change its share structure to establish a single line of shares, which is said to be simpler for investors to understand and value, and also align its tax residence with its country of incorporation in the UK. Shell has been incorporated in the UK with Dutch tax residence and a dual share structure since the 2005 unification of Koninklijke Nederlandsche Petroleum Maatschappij and The Shell Transport and Trading Company under a single parent company.
If approved at the upcoming general meeting in Rotterdam on December 10, the plan will see Shell move its headquarters to London. Following the ‘simplification’ of its share structure, the company will maintain its stock listings in Amsterdam, London and New York. “The current complex share structure is subject to constraints and may not be sustainable in the long term,” the company said in a release.
The move comes less than a month after activist investor group Third Point demanded Shell split the company’s renewables and liquefied natural gas (LNG) activities from the rest of the business. Shell’s activities in the Netherlands have been under pressure this year, with The Hague court ordering the company to significantly slash its carbon emissions and Dutch pension fund ABP dropping all fossil fuels from its portfolio, including Shell.
As for the name change, Shell stated that it expects to no longer fulfill the standards for using the Royal designation as a result of the planned adjustments and has suggested altering the company’s name from Royal Dutch Shell plc to Shell plc.