The law legislation proposed by local political party GroenLinks puts an obligation at multinational companies that wish to leave the Netherlands to ‘make a departure payment’. It may cost Unilever 11 billion euro if adopted. It is reported by the consumer goods maker in documents about changing the corporate structure. The board has decided, after legal advice, that a departure from the Netherlands should the Act be adopted ‘would not be in the interest of Unilever, its shareholders and other interested parties’.
The initiative law, which is to apply retroactively, is designed to prevent the Dutch state treasury from losing millions of euros to multinational companies that move to a country without a dividend tax. Companies then have to pay money to the tax authorities to compensate for lost tax revenue. The net amount of dividend tax received by the Dutch government in recent years amounts to around EUR 200 million per year.
It is still unclear what the consequences will be for Unilever if the GroenLinks Initiative Act is passed, says the company. The board only wants to proceed with the departure if ‘that is still the best option’ for all parties involved. The board keeps a close eye on developments around the law. However, Unilever has obtained legal advice and the company claims that the initiative law in its present form is contrary to European law,