14/11/2017 - 15:20

Shell quits entire Woodside stake

14/11/2017 - 15:20

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Royal Dutch Shell has sold its entire shareholding in Woodside Petroleum for $3.5 billion, after strong demand from institutional investors prompted the energy giant to upsize its previously announced sell-down.

Shell quits entire Woodside stake

Royal Dutch Shell has sold its entire shareholding in Woodside Petroleum for $3.5 billion, after strong demand from institutional investors prompted the energy giant to upsize its previously announced sell-down.

Shell sold 111.8 million shares at a price of $31.10, representing 13.28 per cent of the issued share capital of Woodside.

This comes after Shell announced yesterday an agreement to sell an 8.5 per cent stake in Woodside for $2.2 billion.

Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman said his company’s strong and long-standing relationship with Shell would continue following the divestment.

“Woodside will maintain a close working relationship with Shell - as a joint venture partner and customer of Shell technology - and we recognise that Shell will always be part of our history,” Mr Coleman said in a statement.

Shell was a major backer of Woodside in its early years and sought to acquire full ownership in 2001, before then treasurer Peter Costello famously blocked its bid on national interest grounds.

It commenced a gradual sell-down in 2010, when it sold a 10 per cent stake that left it with a 24.27 per cent holding.

In 2014, Shell sold a further 9.5 per cent of Woodside.

Its holding had also been diluted by Shell’s decision not to participate in Woodside’s dividend reinvestment program.

Shell remains a joint venture partner in the Woodside-operated North West Shelf project (16.67 per cent) and the planned Browse development (27 per cent).

It also has a 25 per cent stake in Chevron’s Gorgon LNG project and other development projects.

In addition, it is the operator of the Prelude floating LNG project (and 67.5 per cent owner) and the QGC venture in Queensland.

Woodside shares closed slightly lower at $31.20 today.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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