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Shell to move headquarters to the UK

Royal Dutch Shell has announced plans to streamline its business structure by moving its headquarters to the United Kingdom.

The company was created in 1907 from a merger between the UK’s Shell Transport and Trading Company and the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company of the Netherlands. This mixed heritage led to the company having a dual-share structure for both countries, with the company having tax residency in the Netherlands, while being incorporated in the UK. It plans to move its tax residency to the UK and switch to a structure that is singularly shared. It will also remove the “Royal Dutch” part of its name and become simply known as “Shell”.

Shell, which also makes lubricants like compressor oil, claims this simpler structure will enable it to make decisions more quickly and give more money back to its shareholders. In a statement, Sir Andrew Mackenzie, the company’s chairman, said that at a pivotal moment for the oil and gas sector:

“It’s even more important that we have an increased ability to accelerate the transition to a lower-carbon global energy system. A simpler structure will enable Shell to speed up the delivery of its [net zero] strategy, while creating value for our shareholders, customers and wider society.”

In October, Third Point, an activist investor, had called for Shell to streamline its business structure. It also called for Shell to break itself up into companies that standalone, with one of these being responsible for the renewables and LNG (liquid and natural gas) business and another one running its traditional upstream, refinery, and chemical operations.

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