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Bloomberg: Shell Canada Investor Jarislowsky to Accept Royal Dutch Offer

By Sonja Franklin

March 20 (Bloomberg) — Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd., the investment adviser that controls about 29.5 million Shell Canada Ltd. shares, said it will tender its stock in a takeover by Royal Dutch Shell Plc rather than fight the deal in court.

The Montreal money manager will tender its shares of Calgary-based Shell Canada starting today at the offer price of C$45 ($38.68) apiece, said Len Racioppo, the firm’s president. Royal Dutch Shell, based in The Hague, on March 17 said it had already won over most minority shareholders.

Jarislowsky’s clients own about 16 percent of the Shell Canada stock not held by Royal Dutch Shell. The parent owned almost 89.7 percent of Shell Canada’s stock as of a public filing this month. Jarislowsky previously said Shell Canada’s per-share value was more than C$5 higher than the offer.

“We didn’t change our mind,” Racioppo said in a telephone interview. “But there is nothing else we can do at this point. Any lawyer will tell you that there is very low probability of winning this.”

As of March 16, Royal Dutch Shell had acquired 53.1 percent of the Shell Canada shares it didn’t already own. The company extended its offer for the remaining shares to March 30.

“Shell is now sure that we will be able to secure 100 percent of the outstanding shares,” Royal Dutch Shell spokeswoman Alexandra Wright said yesterday. The company expects the transaction to close in the second quarter.

Winning over at least 90 percent of the minority shares would allow Shell to squeeze out the rest more quickly through a so-called compulsory acquisition notice, Wright said.

Royal Dutch Shell in October offered to buy the Shell Canada stock it didn’t already own for C$7.7 billion, or C$40 a share. The parent raised the offer to C$8.7 billion, or C$45 a share, in January.

Shares of Shell Canada fell 2 cents to C$44.96 at 12:27 p.m. in Toronto Stock Exchange trading. The stock was at C$32.80 before the first offer from Royal Dutch Shell.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sonja Franklin in Calgary at [email protected] .

Last Updated: March 20, 2007 12:30 EDT

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