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SKYNEWS: SHELL MAY MERGE GROUPS

SKYNEWS: SHELL MAY MERGE GROUPS

Shell may merge its Dutch and British holding companies to try to find a way out of its problems in the wake of its reserves crisis.

Posted 13 August 04

Shell may merge its Dutch and British holding companies to try to find a way out of its problems in the wake of its reserves crisis.

Reports suggest Shell has hired bankers to assess the possibility of a merger.

That is much more radical move than analysts had imagined – they predicted unification of the two boards only.

The company refused to comment on the rumours, simply saying it was considering a “broad range of structures”.

The Anglo-Dutch group is currently made up of Royal Dutch, which controls 60%, and Shell Transport and Trading, the UK side controlling the remaining 40%.

These two companies have separate stock exchange listings in Amsterdam and London.

“Informal agreement” had been reached that the group needs to unify its boards, the Financial Times reported.

But any formal decision would need the vote of both boards and an agreement at next year’s AGM.

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