Royal Dutch Shell is proposing relocating its headquarters from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom (U.K.) among other restructuring moves as the world shifts away from fossil fuel dependence.
The company wants to establish a more simple structure to ensure it remains competitive as more energy comes from renewable resources, a Shell press release said Monday.
The company, which would no longer use “Royal Dutch” as part of its name after the change, has been incorporated in the U.K. with Dutch tax residency and dual share structure since 2005, according to the statement.
“The simplification will normalize our share structure under the tax and legal jurisdictions of a single country and make us more competitive,” Chairman Andrew Mackenzie said in his company’s statement. “As a result, Shell will be better positioned to seize opportunities and play a leading role in the energy transition.”
Shareholders are scheduled to vote on the change at a meeting on Dec. 10.
Shell added that it is “proud of its Anglo-Dutch heritage and will continue to be a significant employer with a major presence in the Netherlands.”
But Dutch officials said they were “unpleasantly surprised” by the move, according to The Associated Press.
“The government deeply regrets that Shell wants to move its head office to the United Kingdom,” Economic Affairs and Climate Minister Stef Blok told the AP. “We are in talks with the top of Shell about the implications of this move for jobs, critical investment decisions and sustainability.”
The company had long been in disagreement with authorities over Holland’s 15 percent dividend withholding tax on some of its shares, which made the firm less attractive to some international investors. Under the new structure, all shares would be under British law and unaffected by the tax, according to Reuters.
Earlier this year, a Dutch court issued a decision, which is binding only in the Netherlands, that Royal Dutch Shell had to cut emissions by 45 percent by 2030 to better align with targets set out in the Paris agreement. The ruling required a notable increase from Shell’s initial 2030 goal for a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to 45 percent of 2019 levels.