Shell to offload $2.2 billion Woodside stake

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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).

Royal Dutch Shell PLC (LON:RDSB) has disposed of its entire stake in Woodside Petroleum after being swamped by demand for the shares by institutional shareholders.

A total of 111.8 mln shares were agreed to be sold, representing 13.28% of the issued share capital of Woodside. The announcements came after the close of trade on the Australian bourse, where Woodside ended 1 percent lower at A$32.24 a share.

Earlier this month, Shell said it had managed to earn more than $25 billion from non-core asset sales under its programme ending next year. Sale proceeds will be used to reduce Shell's net debt, Jessica Uhl, chief financial officer of Shell, said in the statement.


Equity capital markets teams from a number of global banks had been asked earlier on Monday to submit bids and lock in cornerstone investors, a banking source requesting anonymity told Reuters.

After being diluted further because of a decision not to participate in Woodside's dividend reinvestment programme, and what Shell said was a "change in Shell's level of involvement over Woodside's financial and operating policy decisions", management concluded previous year that Shell "no longer [had] significant influence".

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

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