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Woodside Chairman Defends $2.7 Billion Buyback Deal With Shell

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from a BloombergBusinessweek article by James Paton and Rebecca Keenan published 23 July 2014

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL), Australia’s second-largest oil and gas producer, defended a plan to buyback about $2.7 billion of stock from Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) amid concern investors may reject the deal.

Woodside’s buyback is part of last month’s $5 billion deal in which Shell, Europe’s largest oil company, will trim its 23 percent stake in the Australian company. It’s possible that Woodside investors voting on the transaction Aug. 1 will block the buyback, according to Macquarie Group Ltd.

A no vote would leave Shell with a larger, unwanted stake, and add to Woodside’s frustrations after a plan to invest as much as $2.6 billion in an Israeli gas project collapsed, Macquarie analysts said in a July 21 report.

FULL ARTICLE

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