Australia clears Shell-BG merger

Shell’s $70 billion acquisition of UK’s BG Group is moving a step forward after BG on Thursday said that Shell’s recommended offer had received approval from the Australian Treasurer through the Foreign Investment Review Board.

The approval comes two weeks following the unconditional approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“ACCC“) and completes the regulatory review process in Australia.

The approval is one of the five regulatory clearances that are pre-conditions to the combination and this is the fourth pre-condition to be satisfied, following the previously announced clearances in Brazil and the EU, and the ACCC’s approval. The final remaining pre-conditional clearance is from China’s Ministry of Commerce.

Commenting on the FIRB clearance Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden, said: “I am very pleased to receive this news. The FIRB approval is an important step towards deal completion.”

He added: “The addition of BG’s integrated gas assets in Australia to Shell’s global portfolio is one of the main strategic drivers behind the recommended combination. The Shell-BG combination is a sign of Shell’s confidence in the Australian economy. It is also a springboard to change Shell into a simpler, more profitable and resilient company. We remain on track to complete the deal in early 2016.”

The proposed transaction will also require support from both BG Group and Shell shareholders.

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