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London Evening Standard: Shell signals big shake-up

London Evening Standard: Shell signals big shake-up

14 July 2004

SHELL has hired investment banks Citigroup and NM Rothschild to advise a structural review chaired by ex-diplomat Lord Kerr.

That gives a boost to hopes that the Anglo-Dutch group is readying itself for radical action, even a merger of its two companies.

Royal Dutch Shell, quoted in the Netherlands, is 60% of the group, London-quoted Shell Transport 40%.

The most radical solution would be a merger. But a Royal Dutch takeover of Shell Transport, which is valued at £39bn, could trigger horrendous tax bills. A nil-premium merger might be a better answer.

The group restated its first-quarter earnings upward by $226m (£122m) to $4.7bn (£2.5bn) to reflect the accounting and reserve changes announced in May.

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