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Shell’s slimmer structure ‘will open the door to acquisitions’

Daily Telegraph: Shell’s slimmer structure ‘will open the door to acquisitions’

By Christopher Hope (Filed: 07/06/2005)

A leading Shell executive yesterday predicted that the company’s new slimmed down structure would make it easier to make acquisitions after it missed out on consolidation in the oil and gas industry in the late 1990s.

Shell’s shareholders vote later this month on plans to replace the British and Dutch companies which own Shell with just one business – Royal Dutch Shell – with its main listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Peter Voser, Shell’s chief financial officer, said: “The restructuring scheme will enable us to use our shares as a currency for acquisitions. This will bring us at par with our main competitors. This could be useful in a possible consolidation phase within the industry.”

He was reported in Germany’s Handelsblatt business daily as saying that Shell missed out on the last round of consolidation because of its complicated dual structure. He said a major takeover was not on the agenda, adding that profitability gains could be achieved through organic growth because of high oil prices pushing up shares.

Mr Voser took over from Judy Boynton last year following the oil giant’s admission that it had exaggerated its proven reserves by more than 25pc. Shell Transport and Trading’s shares closed down 3 at 485p.

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