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Weatherford to Relocate to Ireland From Switzerland

Weatherford International Ltd., an oilfield services company, said it plans to move its legal domicile to Ireland from Switzerland and remove its shares from trading on the Swiss stock exchange in Zurich.

“Our incorporation under Irish law will strengthen Weatherford’s steady course allowing us to operate at the lowest possible cost while enhancing the company’s ability to retain, as well as further attract, the best women and men in the industry,” Bernard Duroc-Danner, chairman of the Geneva-based company, said in an e-mailed statement late yesterday.

Shareholders will be asked to approve the proposed change at an extraordinary meeting in June. Weatherford plans to hold the main annual shareholder meeting as an Irish company in September.

Swiss cantons including Geneva are under pressure to reform their corporate tax systems as the European Union pushes Switzerland to abandon measures that allow foreign multinationals to pay less tax on income from outside the country.

The company also plans a delisting from the NYSE Euronext Paris exchange.

Weatherford shares fell by as much as 1.3 percent today in trading on the Swiss stock exchange, the most since March 13. The shares fell 0.7 percent to 15.35 Swiss francs at the close of trading in Zurich today.

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