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China: Shell’s takeover of BG clears final antitrust hurdle

 |  December 14, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell got clearance from antitrust authorities in China for the takeover of BG Group, removing the final regulatory hurdle for its biggest-ever deal.

The clearance from China’s Ministry of Commerce follows similar approvals from authorities in Brazil, the European Union and Australia. BG and Shell will now seek assent from their shareholders and plan to complete the transaction in early 2016. About 2,800 jobs, or 3 percent of the total workforce of the two companies, will be cut after the combination, Shell said in a separate statement.

Shell’s takeover of BG, valued at about $70 billion when it was announced in April, has come under scrutiny as crude prices have slumped below $40 a barrel from about $60 when the deal was announced. Oil’s drop in the past week has widened the discount of BG’s shares to Shell’s offer price, suggesting increased risk of the deal completing.

“It’s a tough market for all energy companies right now, but Shell is very likely to proceed with the deal because they believe in higher long-term oil prices,” Reid said by phone from London. “The deal makes sense for Shell and is seen as a good thing.”

Full content: The Irish Times

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