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Shell reduces holding in Woodside

17 june 2014, 10:52
©Reuters/Umit Bektas
©Reuters/Umit Bektas

Royal Dutch Shell on Tuesday announced it was reducing its stake in Australia's Woodside Petroleum, selling Aus$5.3 billion (US$5.0 billion) in shares as it focuses its Australian growth in directly-owned assets, AFP reports.

The after-tax sale represents 19.0 percent of Woodside's issued share capital and will leave the global oil giant with around 4.1 percent of the Australian energy company.

"Today's announcement is part of our drive to improve Shell's capital efficiency and to focus our Australia growth in directly-owned assets," Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden said.

"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."

The sale had long been flagged by both companies.

Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman said the deal would deliver value to Woodside shareholders through enhanced earnings per share, cash flow and dividends with fewer shares issued.

"The combined transaction will also increase our liquidity in the market and resolve the uncertainty in relation to Shell's shareholding that has existed for several years," he said.

Trading in Woodside shares was halted until Wednesday pending the release of the announcement.

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