Shell cuts interest in Woodside Petroleum to just under 5%

Sale is part of a US$30bn debt reduction programme

Sale is part of a US$30bn debt reduction programme

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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