Netherlands: Shell will compensate shareholders for reserves scandal
Date: 1 Jun 2009
The Amsterdam court of appeal has resolved that compensation should be paid out by Royal Dutch Shell to non-US shareholders for the scandal five years ago when the company overstated its oil reserves. The affair saw the removal of Shell's chairman at the time Phil Watts - who was also a leading light with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
The settlement marked the conclusion of a long process of negotiation, which Shell had foreshadowed with its statement two years ago that it would offer compensation whilst not admitting to wrongdoing. The company had set aside 250m UK pounds for investors claiming compensation.
Shell's original admission that reserves had been overstated saw the company fined for market abuse and breaches of the listings rules. The company's reputation has arguably never fully recovered the episode.
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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