Shell offloads $5bn of Australian petroleum shares

Energy giant Shell is cutting its stake in Australia’s Woodside Petroleum in a sale worth around $5 billion (£2.9bn). It will sell around 156.5 million shares, reducing the company’s holding […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Energy giant Shell is cutting its stake in Australia’s Woodside Petroleum in a sale worth around $5 billion (£2.9bn).

It will sell around 156.5 million shares, reducing the company’s holding from 23.1% to 4.5% as it aims to focus its “Australian growth in directly owned assets”.

Ben van Beurden, Shell Chief Executive Officer 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.

“We continue to see Australia as an important place for us to invest and grow our business.”

The cutting of Shell’s stake will take place in two stages. It will offload a 9.5% stake or 78.3 million shares to institutional investors at a price of A$41.35 (£22.8) per share. The firm will then sell another 78.3 million shares to Woodside in a buyback programme.

The buyback is however subjected to approval by Woodside’s shareholders as well as independent expert opinion and is expected to be completed in early August this year.