Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Shell To Sell Down Woodside Stake

Shell To Sell Down Woodside Stake

The sale of the shares, which represent 13.28% of the issued capital of Woodside, is expected to be complete on November 14.

The multinational energy giant said it had made an underwriting agreement with two investment banks to sell 8.5 per cent of Woodside's issued capital at $31.10 a share.

Royal Dutch Shell is selling almost two-thirds of its stake in Woodside Petroleum, the largest independent energy group in Australia, for $1.7bn (£840m). Due to strong demand from equity investors, however, Shell announced in a separate statement today it would sell 111.8 million shares for pre-tax proceeds of $2.7 billion (A$3.5 billion).

Owing to "strong demand from institutional investors", the Anglo-Dutch energy group said it had offloaded the entirety of its 13.28-percent stake, just hours after it announced that it had chose to sell 8.5 percent of Woodside.

Former treasurer Peter Costello blocked Shell's attempted $10 billion takeover of Woodside in 2001 on national interest grounds.

It will retain a 4.8% interest after the latest deal completes on later and has agreed not to sell any of its remaining shares for a minimum of 90 days. This was further diluted to 23.08 percent after Shell decided not to participate in Woodside's dividend re-investment programme.

The disposal will help reduce net debt, is part of a $3US0bn divestment by Shell as it seeks to improve its financial performance.

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