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BBC News: Shell investors to vote on merger: Shell is planning the biggest overhaul in its 100-year history

BBC News: Shell investors to vote on merger: Shell is planning the biggest overhaul in its 100-year history

Tuesday 28 June 2005

Investors in Shell will be asked to vote on a plan to merge the Anglo-Dutch oil company’s two management boards, creating a firm worth £120bn ($219bn).

It is currently 40%-owned by Shell and 60%-owned by Royal Dutch Petroleum.

The move aims to simplify the chain of command and boost transparency after management was blamed for a crisis that saw Shell slash its reserves.

The merged firm would be called Royal Dutch Shell and its bigger size would allow it to better compete with rivals.

Pared down

Shell is currently the sixth biggest firm in London’s FTSE 100 index, but a market value of more than £120bn would push it into the top two – almost on a par with oil giant BP.

Investors will attend their annual general meetings in London and the Hague on Tuesday and are expected to get details of the plan to appoint one chief executive and merge the two boards.

Many of the biggest shareholders have voiced their support for the plan.

“It is expected that completion will take place, and that trading in Royal Dutch Shell shares will commence on 20 July 2005,” Citigroup said in a research note.

Environmental groups have said they will travel to London to protest against continued pollution by Shell.

Friends of the Earth said that representatives from Nigeria, Brazil , South Africa, Congo and the Philippines would be in London to highlight problems.

Investors also may voice their unhappiness at a package of bonuses being paid to its top executives at a time when the oil company is struggling to replace its oil reserves with new finds.

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