Shell to sell part of Wood­side Petroleum stake for $1.7b

The Gulf Today - Business - - INTERNATIONAL -

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.

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