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The Independent: Shell takeover speculation dismissed

The Independent: Shell takeover speculation dismissed

16 Aug 2004

Posted 17 Aug 04

The FTSE 100 holds on to its gains, but Shell slips back from session highs after a leading broker plays down the chances of French rival Total bidding for the oil giant.

Shell, up 4p to 394.5p, slipped from a high of 397.75p after Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein poured cold water on a report in yesterday’s Observer suggesting the group is bracing itself for a bid from Total. Shares in Total slipped 1%.

DKW, which reiterated its add rating and 425p price target, said Shell is ‘probably too big to be swallowed’ and ‘scarcely a lame duck’, pointing out that the group has recovered most of its losses following January’s reserve downgrade.

DKW believes a merger between the two would require significant divestments and thus reduce the potential synergies and does not think a deal would be able to pass antitrust rules.

Shell and Total declined to comment on the speculation.

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