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Shell pockets £2.1bn with latest sell-off

Royal Dutch Shell boss Peter Voser said the move was part of a global drive ‘to simplify the company and to improve our capital efficiency’

By Rob Davies
Last updated at 8:33 AM on 9th November 2010

Shell has raised £2.1billion by selling a 10 per cent stake in Australia’s Woodside Petroleum as chief executive Peter Voser presses on with plans to streamline the group.

The sale reduces Shell’s holding in Woodside to 24 per cent and means the Anglo-Dutch firm has completed around £3.4billion of a plan to offload up to £5billion of assets by the end of the 2010-11 financial year.

The company said the sale formed part of a strategy to own energy assets directly or through joint ventures, rather than via shareholdings in other firms.

And insiders said Shell (down 25.5p to 2059p) had only retained a 24 per cent stake due to the difficulty of offloading such a large volume of shares in one go.

It has agreed to hang on to its remaining stake in the company for a year, unless a third party comes in to buy more than 3 per cent of Woodside.

Voser said the sale was part of a ‘worldwide push to simplify the company and to improve our capital efficiency’, as the firm gears up for a period of costly investment.

Shell spent £20.7billion building the business this year and expects to invest a further £17billion each year until 2014, as it bids to up its oil output from 3.1million barrels a day to 3.7million.


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