Shell Reduces Its Interest In Woodside

Shell share price Group offloads part of stake in Australia’s Woodside

The deal, which involves 111.8 million shares at $31.10 per share, represents Shell's entire shareholding in Woodside and 13.3 per cent of the Perth-based company's total share base.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 0.9 percent, or 53.072 points, to 5,968.7, led by broad-based losses in financials and commodities. The announcements came after the close of trade on the Australian bourse, where Woodside ended 1 percent lower at A$32.24 a share.

Earlier this month, Shell said it had managed to earn more than $25 billion from non-core asset sales under its programme ending next year.

Originally, Shell it agreed to retain a 4.8% stake but such was the demand it chose to sell the whole lot to raise US$2.7bn (A$3.5bn). At the time of writing, Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX:WPL) has 0.042482 ROA. "Proceeds from the sale will contribute to reducing our net debt".

Even before Shell set out to sell assets, it was distancing itself from Woodside. This was further diluted to 23.08 percent after Shell decided not to participate in Woodside's dividend re-investment programme.

Shell will remain joint venture partner in two liquefied natural gas projects in Australia, according to Woodside.

This comes after Shell announced yesterday an agreement to sell an 8.5 per cent stake in Woodside for $2.2 billion.

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

In January, the firm announced plans of sell its stake in the Bongkot gas field in Thailand for $900m to Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company, but the deal folded after negotiations with Bangkok took too long.

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