By Dhirendra Tripathi
Investing.com – ADRs of Shell (NYSE:RDSa) rose 3.5% on Wednesday after a report in The Wall Street Journal that Third Points owns stake worth more than $500 million in the company and is pushing it to split.
The Journal reported that the activist hedge fund wants the company to carve its business into two – one running the legacy operations of oil and gas exploration and the other focused on renewables that need heavy investments.
Oil majors such as Shell, Exxon-Mobile and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) face increasing pressure from investors and green activists to reduce their dependence on fossil-fuel based business and disclose a clear roadmap to achieve the same. European companies like Shell have been quicker to respond compared to their American peers.
With ESG now at centerstage in most countries and corporate boardrooms, companies not doing so are having a tough time answering governments, regulators and activists.
Under a deal disclosed in August, BHP (NYSE:BHP) is handing over all its oil and gas assets to Woodside (OTC:WOPEY) Petroleum (ASX:WPL) against an equity stake in the Australian company. The deal doesn’t mark a clean departure for BHP from fossil fuels but at least reflects the pressure on such companies to take steps reflecting their commitment to the cause.