China has given clearance to the £40 billion merger between Shell and BG Group, meaning that the pre-conditional approval process is now complete.
Receiving approval from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) was the deal’s last antitrust hurdle following previously announced approvals in Brazil, the EU and Australia.
BG Group is one of the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) suppliers. The merger will allow Shell to refocus on its natural gas and deep water oil businesses.
Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said:
“We’re grateful to MOFCOM for its thorough and professional review of the recommended combination, and I am delighted we now have all the pre-conditional approvals needed to move to the next important phase.
“This is a strategic deal that will make Shell a more profitable and resilient company in a world where oil and gas prices could remain lower for some time. We will now seek approval from both sets of shareholders as we move towards deal completion in early 2016.”
BG Group’s Chief Executive, Helge Lund said:
“The proposed combination has strong industrial logic, particularly in deep water production and LNG, and will accelerate the delivery of value to our shareholders.”