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Shell hole

Financial Times: Observer: Shell hole

June 16, 2004

Shareholders of the UK arm of Royal Dutch/Shell who want to inspect the new faces at the top will have to journey to London’s eastern docklands for its postponed annual meeting on June 28.

Observer is assured this is not a case of the company hiding itself away. Shell’s usual venue opposite parliament was not available, nor was any other 1,000-seat hall closer to central London.

Shell is not the only newsmaking UK company forced to seek a new venue. Marks and Spencer, the retailer that is suddenly the object of much bid attention, has told shareholders it plans to hold its 2005 and 2006 annual meetings in Birmingham, more than 100 miles north of London. London’s Royal Festival Hall, its usual hangout, is to be refurbished.

Shell has pencilled a return to its old haunts for 2005, which it hopes will be a more normal year.

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