Shell to sell part of Woodside Petroleum stake for $1.7b
LONDON/SYDNEY: Royal Dutch Shell is selling part of its stake in Australia’s largest independent oil and gas company, Woodside Petroleum Ltd, to equity investors for about $1.7 billion.
Shell, which has been slowly divesting its Woodside holding, said on Monday its Shell Energy Holdings Australia Limited (SEHAL) unit had struck a deal with two investment banks over the sale of 71.6 million Woodside shares for A$31.10 ($23.79) apiece.
The oil major said that represented 64 per cent of its interest in Woodside and 8.5 per cent of the issued capital in Woodside.
The announcement came after the close of trade on the Australian bourse, where Woodside ended 1 per cent lower at A$32.24 a share.
Upon completion of the sale, SEHAL will own a 4.8 per cent interest in Woodside. Shell has so far sold or agreed to sell over $26 billion as part of a three-year, $30 billion asset sales programme launched following the acquisition of BG Group in 2015.
“Proceeds from the sale will contribute to reducing our net debt,” Shell’s Chief Financial Officer, Jessica Uhl, said in a statement.
Equity capital markets teams from a number of international banks had been asked earlier on Monday to submit bids and lock in cornerstone investors, a banking source requesting anonymity told Reuters.
Shell said it had agreed not to dispose of any of its remaining shares in Woodside for a minimum of 90 days from completion of the latest sale.