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Shell-BG merger gets green light in Australia

Royal Dutch Shell, the manufacturer of oil-based products like Shell Tellus S2 M 32, has been given final Australian clearance for its $70bn (£46bn) acquisition of BG Group.

The company was waiting for the go-ahead from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board, which would enable it to move ahead with project, following the unconditional approval the merger was given by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission back in November. Shell was finally given the good news last Friday, December 10.

The FIRB’s approval of the acquisition included one point arranged to avoid wrangles with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), according to Reuters. The news source reported Australian treasurer Scott Morrison as saying that the merger was approved on the condition that Shell will engaged closely with the ATO in regards to its tax affairs regarding the merger.

Shell noted that four out of five of the preconditions required for the deal to take place, as well as the earlier announced clearances in the EU and Brazil, have now been satisfied.

Shell and BG now only need to acquire the approval of China’s Ministry of Commerce before they can proceed with the merger.

Ben van Beurden, Shell’s CEO, said:

“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 FIRB approval is an important step towards deal completion.”

Shell expects to complete its acquisition of BG Group in 2016, providing there are no hold ups with the deal.

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