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Shell to ditch ‘Royal Dutch’ name and dual-share structure amid activist pressure

Shell to ditch ‘Royal Dutch’ name and dual-share structure amid activist pressure

NICHOLAS EARL

Nicholas Earl is a sports and business contributor.

Royal Dutch Shell will dump its dual-share structure, change its name, and move its tax residence from the Netherlands to the UK.

The oil group argues the moves will boost its competitiveness.

It will now offer a single line of shares, which it considers simpler for investors to understand and value.

Alongside moving its tax residence, Shell will establish its CEO, CFO and board meetings in the country.

Shell will remain listed in Amsterdam, London and New York, but will drop the words “Royal Dutch” from its name.

The company has been put under pressure from activist investors Third Point.

The group has been pushing for Royal Dutch Shell to be split up, since acquiring a stake in it.

The decision also follows the announcement of a $2bn buyback programme in July and the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

It has pledged to return $7bn to shareholders after its sale of Permian assets in the US is completed.

The move will create a larger single pool for ordinary shares, accelerating distributions and buybacks

It believes the new structure will enhance its ability to manage its portfolio nimbly during the global energy transition towards renewable sources.

Royal Dutch Shell has been told to commit to more climate action following continued criticism of its emissions.

The decisions remain subject to a shareholder vote.

The company’s shares are up 1.85 per cent on the FTSE 100 at 0837 GMT following the announcement.

SOURCE

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