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The Wall Street Journal: Shell Sold 24% Of Its Malaysian Refining Company Thursday: “dogged for months by a scandal over the accounting of its oil and natural gas reserves”



July 8, 2004 8:55 a.m.

Posted 9 July 04


LONDON -- Royal Dutch/Shell Group (RD, SC) Thursday said it sold 72 million ordinary shares, or 24%, of its Malaysian refining business to institutional and private investors for an undisclosed sum.


Commerce International Merchant Bankers handled the sale of Shell Refining Co. BHD (4324.KU) through a bookbuild conducted Thursday, the Anglo-Dutch oil major said in a press release.


Shell Refining Co. was formed in 1960 and was previously 25% publicly held. It runs Malaysia's biggest manufacturer of petroleum products, the Port Dickson refinery.


Shares in Shell Refining Co. closed at MYR6.75 Thursday, indicating a value of around MYR486 million, or nearly $130 million, for the 24% stake.


The sale is the second Asian downstream disposal Shell has made this week, following its deal to sell up to 15% of its stake in Japanese refiner Showa Shell to Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Saudi Aramco (SOI.YY) on Monday.


Shell 's decision to sell down its stake in the Malaysian refiner comes as part of a larger shake-up in the company's downstream business.


The company, which has been dogged for months by a scandal over the accounting of its oil and natural gas reserves, recently sold its Portuguese service stations to Spain's Repsol YPF (REP), has received final bids for its Spanish service stations, and recently sold nearly $1 billion worth of pipelines in the U.S.


Shell also said the sale is in line with the Malaysian government's desire to see more local equity in key industries.


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-By Mark Long; Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)20 7842 9356;



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