The Strategist

Shell plans biggest corporate change since 2005

11/16/2021 - 09:40

Oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell has decided to change its shareholding structure, becoming a UK tax resident instead of the Netherlands and shortening its name simply to Shell. These are the most significant changes to the company since its formation in 2005.

Billy Hicks
Billy Hicks
The board of directors of Royal Dutch Shell, one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world, has proposed changing its structure, according to a statement on its website.

Royal Dutch Shell wants to become a UK tax resident instead of the Netherlands residency. The company is legally registered in the UK. The company's top management also plans to move from The Hague to London. The company wants to simplify its shareholding structure: it will do away with class A and B shares and arrive at a single standard of securities. It also plans to change its name from Royal Dutch to Shell.

The Dutch government said it was "unpleasantly surprised" by the company's announcement, Bloomberg noted. It called Shell's plans a "major restructuring" of its legal and tax structure. The company's relations with the Netherlands have soured in recent months amid the climate agenda, Bloomberg wrote.

The announced plans are a "historic shift" for Royal Dutch Shell, according to The Wall Street Journal. It noted that this is the first major change in Royal Dutch Shell's corporate structure since 2005, when the company emerged from the merger of two companies, Koninklijke Nederlandsche Petroleum Maatschappij and The Shell Transport and Trading Company. In 2020, Unilever made similar changes to Shell: it merged its structures in the Netherlands and the UK into a single UK-registered organisation, the newspaper added.