Shell proposes European settlement of reserves claims
investorMoscowAgrees to pay $352.6m plus administrative costs to s
Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, said it proposed a settlement of European and other nonUS investor claims related to its 2004 restatement of oil and gas reserves.
“Without admitting any wrongdoing, Shell agreed to pay $352.6 million, plus administrative costs, to investors covered by the settlement,” the company, based in The Hague, said yesterday in a statement on PR Newswire.
The agreement depends on the Amsterdam Court of Appeals declaring the settlement binding for the shareholders it covers and is subject to opt-out provisions, Shell said.
Shell slashed its proven oil and gas reserve estimates in January 2004, leading to regulator fines, investor lawsuits, the loss of its triple-A credit rating and the ouster of the company's top three executives, including chairman Phil Watts.
Shell intends to offer the same proportional settlement to US investors as the one outlined, provided the US court overseeing the case approves, the statement said.
Under the proposed nonUS investor settlement, Shell will pay $340.1 million to investors who bought shares between April 8, 1999, and March 18, 2004, $12.5 million to be divided equally among all shareholders with a valid claim, and $6.25 to Vereniging Effectenbezitters, or VEB, an organisation representing Dutch shareholders, and similar groups, “to assist individual shareholders in preparing and submitting claims.”
The March 18, 2004, date coincides with the day Shell cut its 2002 reserve estimates for a second time. The first restatement was on January 9 that year.