Share buyback programme
Information about our current share buyback programme.
Royal Dutch Shell plc (the ‘company’) announced the start of its $25 billion share buyback programme on July 26, 2018. We subsequently announced on March 23, 2020, that:
- in light of the current economic and oil price environment, we had decided not to continue with the next tranche of the share buyback programme following the completion of the tranche announced on January 30, 2020;
- our intention to complete the $25 billion share buyback programme remained unchanged but was not likely to be feasible before the end of 2020; and
- Shell would continue to monitor the evolving business environment and make decisions on further tranches of the share buyback programme on a quarterly basis.
The purpose of the share buyback programme is to reduce the issued share capital of the company to offset the number of shares issued under the Scrip Dividend Programme and to significantly reduce the equity issued in connection with the company’s combination with BG Group. All shares repurchased to date as part of the share buyback programme have been / will be cancelled.
The share buyback programme is split into different tranches and, the company’s expectation is that, on each tranche a broker will make its trading decisions in relation to the company’s securities independently of the company, within the framework set out in the arrangement with the broker. The shares bought back are intended to be the A ordinary shares traded in the EUR denomination and whichever of the A ordinary shares and/or B ordinary shares traded in the GBP denomination is economically the least expensive for the company on a given trading day.
Any such share repurchases will be effected within certain pre-set parameters, and in accordance with the company´s general authority to repurchase shares granted by its shareholders, Chapter 12 of the Listing Rules and Article 5 of the Market Abuse Regulation 596/2014/EU dealing with buy-back programmes and the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1052.
Dutch tax law treats share buybacks for cancellation as being subject to dividend withholding tax unless an exemption with certain annual quantitative limits applies. This exemption with quantitative limits applies to the A ordinary shares. In line with the Dutch Dividend Withholding Tax Act, the repurchase of the B ordinary shares will potentially give rise to Dutch withholding tax of 15 per cent.
In any event, any withholding tax arising on a buyback of the B ordinary shares would be borne by the company and not the selling shareholder.
For information on the dividend access mechanism and taxation of dividends see "Information on shares".
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The 2019 Annual Report and Form 20-F are now available as PDF download. A printed copy of our 2019 Annual Report can be ordered free of charge.
The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments are separate legal entities. On this webpage “Shell”, “Shell Group” and “Royal Dutch Shell” are sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Royal Dutch Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words “we”, “us” and “our” are also used to refer to Royal Dutch Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them. These terms are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular entity or entities. ‘‘Subsidiaries’’, “Shell subsidiaries” and “Shell companies” as used on this webpage refer to entities over which Royal Dutch Shell plc either directly or indirectly has control. Entities and unincorporated arrangements over which Shell has joint control are generally referred to as “joint ventures” and “joint operations”, respectively. Entities over which Shell has significant influence but neither control nor joint control are referred to as “associates”. The term “Shell interest” is used for convenience to indicate the direct and/or indirect ownership interest held by Shell in an entity or unincorporated joint arrangement, after exclusion of all third-party interest.
This webpage contains forward-looking statements (within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Royal Dutch Shell. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Royal Dutch Shell to market risks and statements expressing management’s expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as “aim”, “ambition”, ‘‘anticipate’’, ‘‘believe’’, ‘‘could’’, ‘‘estimate’’, ‘‘expect’’, ‘‘goals’’, ‘‘intend’’, ‘‘may’’, ‘‘objectives’’, ‘‘outlook’’, ‘‘plan’’, ‘‘probably’’, ‘‘project’’, ‘‘risks’’, “schedule”, ‘‘seek’’, ‘‘should’’, ‘‘target’’, ‘‘will’’ and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Royal Dutch Shell and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements included on this webpage, including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (b) changes in demand for Shell’s products; (c) currency fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserves estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments including regulatory measures addressing climate change; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; and (m) changes in trading conditions. No assurance is provided that future dividend payments will match or exceed previous dividend payments. All forward-looking statements contained on this webpage are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Additional risk factors that may affect future results are contained in Royal Dutch Shell’s Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2018 (available at www.shell.com/investor and www.sec.gov). These risk factors also expressly qualify all forward-looking statements contained on this webpage and should be considered by the reader. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this webpage, 15 August 2019. Neither Royal Dutch Shell plc nor any of its subsidiaries undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward-looking statements contained on this webpage.