Shell offloads remaining stake in Australia's Woodside

Woodside's Pluto LNG plant

Royal Dutch Shell has sold its entire shareholding in Woodside Petroleum for $3.5 billion, after strong demand from institutional investors prompted the energy giant to upsize its previously announced sell-down.

Upon completion of the sale, Shell will retain a 4.8-percent interest in Woodside, and has agreed not to dispose of any of its remaining shares for a minimum of 90 days.

Shell said that the stake represented 64% of its interest in Woodside and 8.5% of the total issued capital in the Australian oil company. Woodside's shares closed trading at $32.24 on Monday.

Shell shares were up 0.8 percent at 1525 GMT.

Shell said today that proceeds from its sale of Woodside shares will be used to reduce the group's net debt.

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.

Watching some historical volatility numbers on shares of Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX:WPL), we can see that the 12 month volatility is presently 16.3779.

Last year, the Anglo-Dutch major concluded a change in Shell's level of involvement in Woodside's financial and operating policy decisions resulted in Shell no longer having significant influence.

The two companies have an extensive history, including Shell's blocked $10 billion takeover attempt for Woodside in 2001.

"Woodside will maintain a close working relationship with Shell - as a joint venture partner and customer of Shell technology - and we recognise that Shell will always be part of our history", Woodside Chief Executive Peter Coleman said in a statement.

Related News: