Royal Dutch Petroleum may be sued by more than 1000 British shareholders who
control at least £100m-worth of shares, as they attempt to claw back some of the
multimillion-pound tax bill caused by the restructuring of the oil and gas
Shell was criticised for its plan to create a £130bn company called Royal
Dutch Shell, when 3,000 UK share holders in Royal Dutch Petroleum discovered
they were to be hit with a £77m capital gains tax bill.
A majority of shareholders accepted the terms of the restructuring, but a
vocal minority refused and were rewarded with the promise of a tax-efficient
loan note from Shell.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the investors have formed a
working group to examine their options – and legal action against Shell is being
considered. The newspaper reports that a City law firm has been retained to
provide advice and will report to the group within a fortnight.
Angela Knight, chief executive of the Association of Private Client
Investment Managers and Stockbrokers, was reported as saying that the investors
simply wanted their tax bill paid by Shell. ‘What most people would like is for
Shell to make a similar financial gesture that is reasonable,’ she said.
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