Anglo/Dutch oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell has moved yet another step closer to finalising one of the largest oil and gas mergers in history, the $70 billion acquisition of the UK’s BG Group.
Shell on Wednesday announced that its recommended combination with BG Group plc has received unconditional merger clearance from the European Commission. Together with the previously announced pre-conditional clearance in Brazil, two of the five pre-conditions to the combination have now been satisfied.
In a separate statement the European Commission said the transaction was cleared as it will not grant Shell market power in oil and gas exploration, LNG liquefaction or LNG wholesale supply. Shell will also not be able to prevent competitors from using its gas infrastructure in the North Sea.
Commenting on the clearance Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden, said: “Receiving clearance from the European Commission underlines the good progress we are making on the deal. The transaction is on track for completion in early 2016. The recommended combination with BG is a springboard to change Shell into a simpler and more profitable company, making Shell more resilient in a world where oil prices could remain low for some time.”
The pre-conditions and conditions to the combination are the same as in the April deal announcement.
Shell in June said it had cleared its first antitrust hurdle by receiving early termination of the US antitrust waiting period from the United States Federal Trade Commission.