Shell seeking to sell $30 billion in assets to cut debt
A unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc has agreed to sell its entire stake in oil sands producer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. for about $3 billion, which will be used to reduce debt.
Shell Gas BV will sell its 97.6 million shares in Canadian Natural for total pretax proceeds of $3.3 billion, and the transaction is expected to be completed by Wednesday, according to a statement from Hague-based Shell. The shares are being offered at $34.10 each, according to a person familiar with the matter, a 2.9 percent discount to its close Monday in New York.
A Canadian Natural spokeswoman declined to comment on the sale.
Shell has been selling assets globally to meet its divestment target of $30 billion as the company reduces debt, which soared following its acquisition of BG Group in 2016. The producer flagged last year that its Canadian Natural stake would be “managed for value realization over time” after announcing a deal to sell most of its production assets in Canada.
The stake in Canadian Natural was acquired as part of a net $7.25 billion deal to dispose all its Canadian oil sands interests apart from a 10 percent stake in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project. That deal, announced in March 2017, was one of its biggest asset disposals as part of the divestment plan, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.
Shell Gas BV has entered into an underwriting agreement with Goldman Sachs & Co., RBC Capital Markets, Scotiabank and TD Securities, for the sale of the stake. Canadian Natural shares closed at $35.11 on Monday.
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