By Todd Starnes
In an interview with the Daily Express, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said the oil giant is considering how to reduce its 32-year long listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
Facing the competition of the City of London – Shell said it would like to be able to trade under a new brand identity.
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“We have always considered the possibility of a new ticker,” van Beurden told the Daily Express. “It would make us look and feel more like the rest of our industry.”
In May, van Beurden notified a French court of Shell’s move from New York to London. And guess who brought his case against the oil giant to court? International Judge Jacques Preschat of the Paris Court of International Arbitration.
The CEO said he “assured” Preschat that Shell would abide by all rules.
“However, Shell believes that maintaining its current listing structure creates an outdated corporate identity, one that cannot adequately meet the needs of the business,” he wrote.
According to the filing with the Paris court, Shell will file for a final ruling “at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Shell hasn’t commented on the possibility of a name change – but Shell provided a statement on behalf of Chief Financial Officer Jessica Uhl.
“Shell has a responsibility to the people and communities we serve to be a responsible corporate citizen,” the statement read. “We would never advocate for a specific message or to mislead people. Our legal and human rights experts will work with the French local authority to ensure full compliance with the legal requirements.”
“We have been a UK company for nearly 100 years and will continue to be – with a modest change to our domestic ticker,” the statement read.
The Associated Press reported that a Shell spokesman said the firm has not decided yet whether to seek a new name.
“We will continue to do business as usual, not alter our presence in any way,” the spokesman said.
The decision comes as Shell still deals with civil lawsuits that seek more than $7 billion in penalties and punitive damages. The fuel company is accused of cutting billions of dollars in costs and purposely understating production to boost the value of its stock during a six-year stock run.
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