Shell cuts interest in Woodside Petroleum to just under 5%

That represented 13.28 percent of Woodside shares and the entirety of SEHAL's shareholding in the company, it said.

Oil and gas giant Shell is parting ways with Woodside Petroleum after a long relationship as a key shareholder of the Australian company. Due to strong demand from equity investors, however, Shell announced in a separate statement today it would sell 111.8 million shares for pre-tax proceeds of $2.7 billion (A$3.5 billion).

Watching some historical volatility numbers on shares of Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX:WPL), we can see that the 12 month volatility is presently 16.3779.

Shell was originally planning to offload a $2.2 billion stake in Woodside to a pair of investment banks.

The disposal will help reduce net debt, is part of a $3US0bn divestment by Shell as it seeks to improve its financial performance.

Equity capital markets teams from a number of global banks had been asked earlier on Monday to submit bids and lock in cornerstone investors, a banking source requesting anonymity told Reuters. Shell has been selling out of Woodside for some time.

The two companies have an extensive history, including Shell's blocked $10 billion takeover attempt for Woodside in 2001.

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 a year ago that Shell "no longer [had] significant influence".

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