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Shell moves HQ to London and axes dual shares

Shell Energy

Changes will help power the transition to clean energy

Energy company Royal Dutch Shell is to end its dual share structure, move its headquarters and tax residence to London and simplify its name.

The Anglo-Dutch oil and gas giant will drop “Royal Dutch” and said the decision to end its “A” and “B” share classes would allow for accelerated shareholder distributions, for example share buybacks will be easier, as there will be a larger single pool of shares to buy-back.

The share structure separated dividend payment across pounds sterling (represented by ‘B’ shares) and US dollars (‘A’ shares) – which had been in place since 2005. The company noted that when the current structure was put in place it was not intended to be a permanent arrangement.

It will unwind the dual UK and Dutch tax residence and its chief executive and chief financial officer will move to London from The Hague. Board meetings will also move to the UK, where the company is already incorporated. Shell will retain a listing and significant operations in the Netherlands.

The company said the changes will allow it to accelerate its ‘Powering Progress’ strategy, which seeks to transition the company to a lower-carbon global energy system.

Chairman Sir Andrew Mackenzie said: “The simplification will normalise our share structure under the tax and legal jurisdictions of a single country and make us more competitive.

“As a result, Shell will be better positioned to seize opportunities and play a leading role in the energy transition. Shell’s board unanimously recommends shareholders vote in favour of the proposed resolution.”

Shell added that it will continue to be a significant employer with a major presence in the Netherlands – and highlighted is growing presence in wind projects off the Dutch coast and its plans for a ‘world-scale’ low-carbon biofuels plant and Europe’s biggest electrolyser in Rotterdam.”

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