Shell divests part of Woodside stake

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Anglo-Dutch oil and energy group Royal Dutch Shell has said it is to sell almost two-thirds of its remaining stake in Australia's Woodside Petroleum for £1.3bn.

Royal Dutch Shell took another step towards completing its three-year, $30 billion divestment program with a partial sale of its stake in Woodside Petroleum to equity investors.

Shell "A" shares were up 0.7% on Monday at 2,435.00 pence, with "B" shares up 0.7% at 2,475.00p.

"Proceeds from the sale will contribute to reducing our net debt", Shell Chief Financial Officer Jessica Uhl said in the initial statement. The sale increase was a result of the "strong demand" from institutional investors, Shell said.

Logos of Woodside Petroleum are seen at Gastech, the world's biggest expo for the gas industry, in Chiba, Japan, April 4, 2017.

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By totally exiting the Australian group, Shell has earned itself a pre-tax amount of US$2.7 billion, a statement said.

But in 2010, it sold a 10% stake, and a further 9.5% in June 2014.

Australia blocked a takeover bid by Shell for Woodside in 2001 on national interest grounds.

After being diluted further because of a decision not to participate in Woodside's dividend reinvestment programme, and what Shell said was a "change in Shell's level of involvement over Woodside's financial and operating policy decisions", management concluded past year that Shell "no longer [had] significant influence".

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