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Reuters: Shell says bid for Canadian unit successful

Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:06AM GMT
By Jeffrey Jones

Update One

CALGARY, Alberta, March 17 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile , Research) moved a major step toward integrating its Canadian unit’s vast oil sands holdings late on Friday when most Shell Canada Ltd.’s (SHC.TO: Quote, Profile , Research) minority shareholders accepted the oil major’s C$8.7 billion ($7.4 billion) bid to take it private.

Royal Dutch Shell, which launched its offer in October, said 53.1 percent of the minority stockholders tendered their shares before the Friday bid deadline, surpassing a minimum condition of half the stock it did not already own.

The Anglo-Dutch oil major now holds 89.6 percent of Shell Canada’s shares, up from 78 percent before the offer, it said.

Royal Dutch Shell extended the C$45 a share offer to March 30 to pick up the remainder.

“This is a positive outcome, and a further step towards building on our strong position in Canada, using the strengths that only a company of our global scale can bring,” Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Jeroen van der Veer said in a statement.

He had said earlier that Royal Dutch Shell was prepared to walk away from the bid — which it had sweetened from C$40 in January — if it did not win enough support from Shell Canada’s investors.

Some minority shareholders of the Calgary-based company, one of Canada’s biggest oil, gas and oil sands producers and refiners, had said they planned to hold out for more cash, arguing the bid undervalued its prospects.

Shell Canada shares closed at C$44.68, up 8 Canadian cents, on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday.

($1=$1.18 Canadian)

© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved

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