What the Shell sell-down means for Woodside

Shell's long-awaited sale of its stake in Woodside Petroleum removes overhang from the market and will provide Woodside with a way to use its excess balance sheet capacity and leverage returns to shareholders.

Today was a good day for Woodside Petroleum’s Peter Coleman and his chairman Michael Chaney, who have just solved two problems in one $6 billion hit.

Well, actually it’s two hits: a $2.86bn buy-back of 9.5 per cent of Woodside’s capital in tandem with Shell’s sell-down to institutions of another 9.5 per cent that will raise another $3.23bn for the oil and gas major.

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