By Martinne Geller and Toby Sterling

LONDON/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Shareholders in Unilever Plc have approved the company’s plan to end its 90-year-old dual-headed structure in favour of a single London-based entity, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company said on Monday.

The proposal passed with the support of more than 99% of shares voted.

The results were released during shareholder meetings streamed online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Investors in Dutch-listed Unilever NV

approved the move with 99.4% support last month.

Unilever wants to unify on Nov. 29, ending a hybrid structure that dates back to the merger of British soap maker Lever Brothers and Margarine Unie in the Netherlands.

The maker of Dove soap, Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream says the dual structure hampers its ability to conduct acquisitions and asset sales quickly, such as the planned sale of its tea business.

Such flexibility is key to Unilever’s ambition to shift its portfolio into higher-growth areas like premium beauty. Unilever has said this will become even more important as a result of the pandemic.

The final steps towards completing the unification include UK High Court hearings on Oct. 23 and Nov. 2, with the Dutch-listed shares ceasing trading after Nov. 27.

The only potential worry for Unilever is an “exit tax” proposed by a Dutch opposition party that could cost the company up to 11 billion euros ($13 billion).

A top Dutch legal body said on Friday the current plan appeared at odds with fundamental principles of law. The opposition party has re-submitted its proposal for consideration with amendments, though no debate has been scheduled on it in parliament.

Unilever has said it does not think the law is viable, but if passed before the unification is finalised, it would be a reason to stop it.

Unilever began

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LONDON, Oct 7 (Reuters)Tesco TSCO.L, Britain’s biggest retailer by sales, on Wednesday reported a 15.6% fall in core profit, with a jump in sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic more than outweighed by higher costs and losses at Tesco Bank.

The group, led since the start of the month by new chief executive Ken Murphy, made operating profit before one-off items of 1.037 billion pounds ($1.34 billion) in the 26 weeks to August 29, down from 1.229 billion pounds in the same period last year.

However, the group forecast that retail operating profit in the full 2020-21 year would be at least the same level as 2019-20 on a continuing operations basis.

UK like-for-like sales rose 7.6% in the first half, having been up 8.7% in the first quarter, while the response to the pandemic led to 533 million pounds of costs.

Tesco Bank made a loss of 155 million pounds and a loss of 175-200 million pounds is still expected for the full year.

Murphy, formerly at healthcare group Walgreens Boots Alliance WBA.O, succeeded Dave Lewis, who in his six years at the helm put Tesco back on track after an accounting scandal and refocused the group on its home market.

But Tesco still faces major challenges, most notably the long-term impact of the pandemic, a recession and disruption when Britain’s Brexit transition period finishes at the end of 2020.

Shares in Tesco, which has a 27% share of Britain’s grocery market, went sideways during Lewis’ tenure and last week the group briefly lost its position as Britain’s most valuable food retailer to online specialist Ocado OCDO.L.

The group also named Tate & Lyle’s TATE.L Imran Nawaz as its new finance chief. He will succeed Alan Stewart who is retiring in