Shell confirms that it intends to sell Australian gas stations to cut expenses
2014-01-31 12: 29: 30
Editor in charge: Catherine
(News from this newspaper) Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell has confirmed for the first time that it has listed its refinery and gas station in Australia for sale, and it has also offered to sell the remaining 74 billion yuan of Woodside Petroleum. Equity is open.
Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden told investors on Thursday night (Sydney time) that he would not comment on the speculation of selling Woodside Petroleum’s equity. However, he did promise to accelerate the sale of Woodside Petroleum's assets and set a goal of divesting US$2014 billion (approximately A$2015 billion) of assets by 150-172.
Shell also declined to comment on reports of the sale of its gas stations and refineries. However, Van Burden said at a briefing on Thursday that Shell has received several letters of intent to acquire Australian refineries, and said that the company is currently considering various options for divesting assets, provided that satisfactory commercial terms are obtained.
The Australian Financial Review has previously reported that potential bidders for Shell’s refineries and gas stations include the consortium formed by Macquarie Bank and Glencore Xstrata, as well as the consortium including Vitol.
Private equity giant TPG reportedly has joined hands with the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Kuwait Investment Authority (Kuwait Investment Authority) to have also expressed interest in Shell’s assets, but the consortium is believed to have withdrawn from the bidding . Bank of America Merrill Lynch is responsible for Shell’s asset sale.
Van Burden said on Thursday that the company will strengthen asset disposal and cut expenses, establish a new point of return of funds, in order to win back investors. Van Burden said in a statement: "Our overall strategy is still very strong, but in 2014 we will change our focus to improve the return on capital and cash flow operations."
Shell said that this year's capital expenditure will fall to 370 billion US dollars, compared with 460 billion US dollars last year. At the same time, the company is also abandoning the originally controversial exploration site in Alaska. Shell said the company will increase the speed of asset sales in order to reach its goal of disposing of $150 billion in assets this year. Van Burden said: "Our investment portfolio spans the world, and we are making difficult decisions from it to improve the company's capital efficiency."
In order to attract more investors, Shell also increased its dividend rate in the first quarter to 4% year-on-year, equivalent to US$0.47 per share, and said that it also reflects their confidence in their own capabilities and can promote free cash flow. .
Last week Shell agreed to sell its assets to Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company, Kufpec) for US$11.35 billion (contract A$13 billion) in cash. The assets sold include an 8% stake in the Wheatstone-Iago joint venture and a 6.4% stake in the Wheatstone Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project in Western Australia.
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