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Shell reduces interest in Australia’s Woodside

Oilfield Technology,

Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell) announced the sale of a total of approximately 156.5 million shares in Woodside Petroleum Limited (Woodside), representing a total estimated value of approximately US$ 5.0 billion.

The sale, which represents 19.0% of Woodside’s issued share capital, is through an underwritten sell-down to equity market investors and a selective share buy-back by Woodside.


Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden, commented: “Today’s announcement is part of our drive to improve Shell’s capital efficiency and to focus our Australia growth in directly owned assets. It doesn’t change our view of Australia as an important player on the global energy stage, or Shell’s central role in the country’s energy industry.”

Shell Australia’s Country Chair, Andrew Smith, added: “Woodside is an important strategic partner for us, through our investments in established projects such as the North West Shelf and growth opportunities such as Browse.

“We are pleased we have been able to work with Woodside to find a solution that allows us both to meet our strategic objectives. We continue to see Australia as an important place for us to invest and grow our business.”

Shares in Woodside

Shell Energy Holding Australia Limited (Shell Australia) has mandated two investment banks to sell 78.27 million shares in Woodside, through an underwritten sell-down at a price of AU$ 41.35 per share.

This part of the sale represents approximately 9.5% of the issued capital in Woodside, with the shares to be sold to a range of equity market investors. The sell-down should be complete by 18 June.

Woodside will also buy-back 78.27 million of its shares from Shell Australia at a price of US$ 34.24 per share.

Completion of the buy-back will be subject to limited conditions, including consent under a number of Woodside’s facility agreements, an independent expert opinion and Woodside shareholder approval. Completion is expected in early August 2014.

After the buy-back and the sell-down have been completed, Shell Australia’s shareholding in Woodside will reduce to below 5%.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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