Shell pursues transition plan with $53b BG deal

Shell will cut thousands of jobs and sell $30 billion of assets from the combined group to finance the deal.
Shell will cut thousands of jobs and sell $30 billion of assets from the combined group to finance the deal.

London - The success or otherwise of the complex merger will define the legacy of Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden, seeking to transform Shell into a more specialised group focused on the rapidly growing LNG market and deepwater oil production.



By Reuters

Published: Mon 15 Feb 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 16 Feb 2016, 7:55 AM

 Royal Dutch Shell on Monday sealed the $53 billion (£36 billion) acquisition of British rival BG Group to form the world's top liquefied natural gas company, even as slumping oil prices cast a shadow on the upcoming years of transition.
The success or otherwise of the complex merger will define the legacy of Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden, seeking to transform Shell into a more specialised group focused on the rapidly growing LNG market and deepwater oil production.
"We will now be able to shape a simpler, leaner, more competitive company, focusing on our core expertise in deep water and LNG," van Beurden said in a statement. In 2014, Shell acquired Repsol's LNG business.
Van Beurden's vision won overwhelming support from shareholders, though a number of major investors had voiced concerns that the forecast slow recovery in oil prices would strain Shell's financials and risk its growth plans.
The deal, announced 10 months ago, creates a combined group which will leapfrog Chevron to become the world's second-largest public oil and gas company by market value behind Exxon Mobil Corp.
Signs at BG's headquarters in Reading outside London were replaced by Shell's red-and-orange logo over the weekend, according to company sources.
Incumbent CEO Helge Lund, former head of Norwegian oil major Statoil who led it through a period of spectacular growth, is set to step down and has yet to indicate his plans.
Shell has said it will cut thousands of jobs from the combined group and sell $30 billion of assets over the next three years in order to finance the deal, buy back shares and support dividends, which it has vowed to maintain or increase.Shell is betting heavily on a rapid growth in the global LNG market over coming decades. 
 


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