Daily Telegraph: Shell may offer tax-efficient option to
its rebel investors: "Shell
admitted yesterday that it was considering a new
tax-efficient offer for British shareholders in Royal
Dutch Petroleum who are refusing to accept the terms of
the merger with Shell Transport and Trading.": Saturday
13 August 2005
Hope (Filed: 13/08/2005)
Shell admitted yesterday that it was
considering a new tax-efficient offer for British
shareholders in Royal Dutch Petroleum who are refusing
to accept the terms of the merger with Shell Transport
In a meeting with the Association of
Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers,
Patrick Ellingsworth, Shell's executive vice president
in charge of tax and corporate structure, conceded that
a tax efficient solution for the British holders was one
of five to six options being considered.
executive, Jeroen van der Veer
Angela Knight, chief executive of
APCIMS, said Mr Ellingsworth said that one option was
"an alternative share for share" swap which will not
result in a capital gains tax bill for the British
holders in Royal Dutch.
Before the restructuring, APCIMS
estimated that around 3,000 British holders, with a
£192m stake in Royal Dutch, faced a combined £77m tax
bill because of the restructuring.
Mr Ellingsworth told Ms Knight that the
proposals, which also include forcing investors to
accept cash for the shares, will be put to a meeting of
Shell's board next month.
The news marks a climb-down by Shell.
Previously Jeroen van der Veer, Shell's chief executive,
insisted there was nothing left in his "tool-box" to
help the investors.
Earlier this week Shell revealed that a
stubborn rump of 1.3pc of shareholders in Royal Dutch
had failed to accept the deal to create a £128.7billion
oil and gas giant.
The company reiterated its threat "to
use any legally permitted method to obtain 100pc of the
Royal Dutch shares". It continued: "This could include a
squeeze out procedure, engaging in one or more corporate
restructuring transactions such as a merger,
liquidation, transfer of assets or conversion of Royal
Dutch into another form or corporate entity."
A Shell spokesman the APCIMS meeting
was private, but that everything which was said has
already been in the public domain. She added: "We are
carefully reviewing the options available to obtain
100pc of the shares but no decision has yet been made."
Some of the rebels welcomed the
development last night. David Hunter, a director at
Smith & Williamson Investment Management, said: "Why
didn't they tell us before? But what about the people
who accepted their advice in the first place who could
not afford to take the risk?"
Peter Buckley, chairman of Caledonia
Investments, added: "I am encouraged to hear this
because the last thing one wants is to deal with this on
a controversial basis."