Unilever no longer interested in London

Goodbye, London: After almost a century Unilever is giving up its headquarters in the British capital. The Dutch-British consumer goods giant has decided to maintain its sole headquarters in Rotterdam instead. Unilever has stressed that the decision has nothing to do with Brexit and that the goal is merely to simplify the company's structures. But few are willing to believe this.

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NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

Brexit scares off companies

The decision to move the headquarters must be seen in the context of Brexit, NRC Handelsblad comments:

“The big loser is the United Kingdom. Although it has strictly avoided any suggestion that this is the case, Unilever's decision has a lot to do with the Brexit. In the current turbulent circumstances it's difficult to do business in the UK. All the more so given that it's still not clear what precise form the separation of the European Union and Britain will take. A lonely London whose future ties to the countries of the Union it is leaving have yet to be clarified is an insecurity factor.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Good for the Netherlands' image

De Volkskrant hopes that the Netherlands will make the most of the new situation:

“For Rotterdam it's of course wonderful news that it is to become home to the headquarters of such a huge company. And the decision is also good for the country's national pride. But the best thing is that the Netherlands can now support Unilever's sustainability strategy. On the one hand by stimulating cooperation with universities and companies. And on the other by keeping shareholders who are only looking for short-term profit at a distance. The decision in Rotterdam's favour could be very beneficial for the Netherlands - but that won't happen all on its own.”