Bloomberg: Shell exiting Woodside may open door to China bids

|By:, SA News Editor

Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDS.A, RDS.B) long-awaited sale of its $6.4B stake in Woodside Petroleum (WOPEF, WOPEY) may open the door for Asian buyers to grab a slice of Australia’s second-largest oil and gas producer, or even the whole company, Bloomberg speculates.

Shell, which sees its 23% holding in Woodside as “increasingly non-core," may exit its stake as soon as next year; while Shell may opt to sell the stock back to Woodside and institutional investors, China’s Cnooc (CEO) and Sinopec (SNP) might pursue the stake or a full takeover.

Government opposition to a foreign takeover may have eased since Shell was blocked in 2001, analysts say, and the company is more affordable after its multiple to cash flow has been more than cut in half since 2011.