With shareholder approval, Royal Dutch Petroleum and Shell Trading & Transport officially merged on Tuesday, ending a dual corporate structure that had lasted more than 100 years.
The combined company is expected to allow it to more easily pursue acquisition targets, according to company executives.
Using a single-stock company is “a tool we didn’t have before,” said Malcolm Brinded, who directs exploration and production. However, he added there were “no immediate plans to make use of it.”
Under the new arrangement, which begins July 20, Royal Dutch Petroleum will be the A-class shares of Royal Dutch, and Shell Trading will be the B-class. Royal Dutch currently holds 60% of the assets of the company, while Shell Trading holds 40%. Analysts said the B-class shares are expected to trade at a higher premium because there is no Dutch withholding tax on dividend income.
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