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Shell Announces Final Step Of Acquisition

Shell Announces Final Step Of Fletcher Challenge Energy Acquisition Process

Following final legal clearance on 15 March, the US $1.6 billion takeover of Fletcher Challenge Energy (FCE) by Shell Overseas Holdings Limited and Apache Corporation was finalised today (March 23).

Commenting today, Shell New Zealand Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, Ed Johnson said:

“This has been a long, at times difficult but significantly important process, and now we can concentrate on developing the combined New Zealand business assets for the benefit of our Company, our employees and New Zealand as a whole. There are fantastic opportunities ahead of us and we will be bringing all our experience and capabilities to bear - growing and developing our hydrocarbons businesses in New Zealand. ”

Mr Johnson says FCE shareholders will begin receiving their payments and entitlements from the middle of next week. The process of divesting the assets in accordance with the New Zealand Commerce Commission’s guidelines can now also begin.

Shell has committed itself to making the Taranaki region one of the Shell Group’s exploration capitals of the world and Shell will be working hard to ensure that the community is well placed to reap the benefits of the Company’s increased presence in the region.

“Shell views the Taranaki assets as a `jewel in Shell’s East Asia resources crown’ and is committed to bringing in more than its fair share of Shell 's investment dollars to truly develop the New Zealand fields to maximum potential.”

Mr Johnson envisages the FCE divestment programme will move forward quickly and provide opportunities for innovative smaller firms to build wider opportunities for themselves in the Taranaki region.

“Over the next few weeks, we will be appraising potential buyers in terms of financial capacity and their ability to work alongside us and other joint venture partners. It is important to stress that we will be looking for reputable companies who, like us, can demonstrate an ability to develop the assets in a responsible and sustainable way. Equally, this means we want them to demonstrate the ability to look after employees and be a good corporate citizen in the wider sense.”

Ends

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