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Shell to sell stake in Woodside Petroleum

Company will retain a 24.7% interest

Shell will sell about a third of its stake in Australian oil and gas company Woodside Petroleum for about $3.3bn.

The company has signed an underwriting agreement with UBS for the sale of 78.34 million shares in Woodside, representing 29.18% of its interest in Woodside and 10% of the issued capital in the company.

Upon completion of the sale, Shell will continue to own a 24.27% interest in Woodside.

As part of this transaction, Shell has committed to retain its remaining shares in Woodside for a minimum of one year, unless there is a bona fide takeover offer for the Australian oil and gas producer.

Shell CEO Peter Voser said that with Shell's recent portfolio progress in Australia and its world-wide push to improve its capital efficiency, it will increasingly focus its investment in Australia through direct interests in assets and joint ventures, rather than indirect stakes.

"We will manage our remaining position in Woodside over time in the context of our global portfolio," Voser said.