Woodside Petroleum’s largest shareholder Shell is getting ready to sell-down its 23.1 per cent stake in the company to a maximum of 4.5 per cent.
Woodside will buy back 78.3 million shares at $36.49 each in a deal worth about $US2.68 billion. The price is a 14 per cent discount to the company’s volume-weighted average price, up to and including Monday’s trading.
The other 78.3 million Woodside shares will be offloaded through an underwritten sell-down to institutional investors at $41.35 per share, and it is expected this will be completed on Wednesday.
Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said the deal will remove “uncertainty” around Shell’s stake in the company.
“The combined transaction will also increase our liquidity in the market and resolve the uncertainty in relation to Shell’s shareholding that has existed for several years,” he said.
The sell-off comes after reports emerged at the weekend the company was looking to cut up to 20 per cent of its workforce. There’s more on that here.
Woodside was placed into a trading halt this morning.