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FORBES: Court Expected to OK Unification of Shell

FORBES: Court Expected to OK Unification of Shell

“A British court was expected Tuesday to approve the unification of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Cos. into one corporation in time for the start of trading a day later.”

Tuesday 19 July 2005

A British court was expected Tuesday to approve the unification of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Cos. into one corporation in time for the start of trading a day later.

Shell declared its public exchange offer for all ordinary shares of Royal Dutch unconditional, with nearly 92 percent of outstanding shares in the Dutch arm having been tendered. Stock in the joint company will be traded beginning Wednesday morning in London and Amsterdam as Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

Assets of the oil giant are currently split 60-40 between Royal Dutch Petroleum, based in The Hague, Netherlands, and the London-based Shell Transport & Trading Co.

The restructuring came amid a scandal over Shell’s restatement of its oil and gas reserves. In February the company announced the fifth restatement in just over a year. In all, reserves have been cut by 6.85 billion barrels to 11.9 billion barrels at the end of 2004.

The deal, approved by shareholders in both companies last month, will end a century-long dual ownership structure and create a single management board operating out of The Netherlands.

Shell shares in London were up 0.4 percent to 539.25 pence (US$9.42; euro7.82), while Royal Dutch was up 0.4 percent at euro53 (US$63.89).

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