(Bloomberg) — Shareholders in the U.K. arm of Unilever voted overwhelmingly in favor of unifying the company’s headquarters in the U.K., moving the Dove soap maker’s plan to end dual nationality a step closer to completion.

a large building with a bridge in the background: The Unilever Plc headquarters stand on Victoria Embankment and in the foreground the River Thames and Blackfriars Bridge in London.

© Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
The Unilever Plc headquarters stand on Victoria Embankment and in the foreground the River Thames and Blackfriars Bridge in London.

More than 99% of investors in the British entity voted in favor of the move at a shareholder meeting Monday, matching an earlier approval rate by Dutch investors. The decision advances a plan to streamline a cumbersome structure that has complicated major takeovers and disposals.


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The owner of Knorr stock cubes and Axe shower gel has maintained twin bases since the 1930 merger of Margarine Unie of the Netherlands and U.K. soapmaker Lever Brothers. It began moving to unwind that structure after an unsolicited takeover approach from Kraft Heinz Co. in 2017.

The move to a single headquarters has prompted speculation that Unilever would step up merger-and-acquisition activity. The company has mounted a strategic review of its tea business after selling its spreads unit and acquiring consumer health brands in South Asia from GlaxoSmithKline Plc.

The vote hands a win to Chief Executive Officer Alan Jope after the company withdrew a proposal to unify its business in the Netherlands under his predecessor, Paul Polman. That reversal came after U.K. stockholders rebelled against the company’s potential exit from the FTSE 100 index.

Unilever’s streamlining plan still faces a potential hurdle in the form of a so-called departure tax proposed by the Dutch opposition Green Party. The company has said the plan would make a move to London prohibitively expensive, but the legislation is in the early stages.

The tax proposal would breach European Union laws on freedom of establishment

Oct 6 (Reuters)Australian gold miner Newcrest Mining NCM.AX said on Tuesday it has received conditional approval to list on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and will begin trading on Oct. 13.

The listing comes after Newcrest last year acquired a 70% joint venture interest in the Red Chris mine in British Columbia, Canada from Toronto-listed Imperial Metals Corp III.TO.

“A North American listing is part of our strategy of pursuing growth in the Americas,” Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Biswas said in a statement.

Newcrest, which also has investments in Ecuador, had seen increased interest from North American investors in the gold sector over the last six months, Biswas added.

“It makes sense for Newcrest stock to be able to be traded in this time-zone,” he said.

Gold miners have benefited from rising bullion prices, which have jumped 30% this year to around $2,000 an ounce, as central banks dial up stimulus measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Newcrest will retain its primary listing on the Australian Securities Exchange and its secondary listing on PNGX markets, under the trading symbol “NCM”.

The Toronto listing does not include an equity offering.

(Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)

((Nikhil.Subba@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: Nikhil.Subba.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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