Shell makes direct offer to shareholders

DENVER (AP) Shell Oil Co. announced Monday that it has commenced a tender offer for all outstanding shares of Barrett Resources Corp. at $55 per share in cash.

Walter van de Vijver, president and CEO of Shell Exploration and Production Co. of Houston, said the offer price for common stock represents a 24 percent premium over Barrett's market price of $44.25 per share.

''We consider it a positive sign that Peter Dea and Barrett's board of directors have said they are considering strategic alternatives, but it is not clear that they are committed to the sale of the company,'' said van de Vijver. ''That is why Shell has chosen to take its offer directly to the Barrett shareholders. We continue to believe that the best choice is to accept our fully funded cash offer.''

Last week, Denver-based Barrett rejected the unsolicited Shell offer of $1.8 billion for the natural gas and oil exploration company, saying it wanted to seek new offers from other companies.

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