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Columbia Threadneedle slams Unilever’s decision to move HQ to Rotterdam

InvestmentColumbia Threadneedle is urging Unilever to engage with investors after its decision to establish its main headquarters in Rotterdam.

Columbia, one of Unilever’s biggest shareholders, said it was disappointed with Unilever over concerns the move could be damaging for British shareholders.

Head of responsible Investment at Columbia Threadneedle Investments Iain Richards said in a statement: “We’re disappointed by Unilever’s lack of engagement with shareholders ahead of its decision to restructure, particularly in view of the likely impact on its premium listing in London.

“Given the potential implications and need for 75 per cent approval, they need to do more to convince UK shareholders of the merits of the move.”

Last week Unilever said it was choosing the Netherlands over London for its corporate headquarters, a decision that could affect its UK listing and membership of the FTSE 100.

Columbia is the latest investment firm to use its power for activism after the likes of Royal London have voted against excessive pay at firms it has significant stakes in.

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