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Shell reviewing options post-Woodside

Woodside chairman appeal not enough to save bid.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Aug. 1, 2014 at 8:54 AM

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Royal Dutch Shell said Friday it was reviewing its options regarding its shares in Australian energy company Woodside after a rejected buy-back bid.

"Royal Dutch Shell acknowledges the outcome of Woodside Petroleum Limited's shareholders' negative vote on the selective buy-back proposal," the company said in a statement. "Shell is reviewing its options in relation to its remaining 13.6 percent holding in Woodside."

Shell is trying to divest in its longtime partner Woodside in an effort to cut down on costs. In announcing second-quarter results this week, Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said he was "determined to get a tighter grip on business performance."

Around 71 percent of Woodside shareholders voted in favor of the buy-back proposal, but it needed 75 percent to proceed.

Woodside Chairman Michael Cheney said he was concerned because investors could now likely buy the shares at a lower price from Shell and, without the deal, it may be more difficult to raise capital.

Before the vote was cast, he said outside analysts had concluded the deal was in the best interest of the company and its shareholders.

Shell holds interests in the Gorgon liquefied natural gas project and the Prelude floating LNG project in Australia.

Australia is a premier exporter of LNG. Several Asian countries have secured long-term natural gas supply contracts from companies operating in Australia.

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