Business

Shell shareholders back BG takeover

Cars drive past a Shell garage in the UK Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Shell shareholders give the go-ahead to a merger with ahead BG Group

Royal Dutch Shell shareholders have approved the company's $49bn takeover of BG Group.

Of those who voted, 83.08% of shareholders were in favour of the deal, one of the largest in the energy sector in the past decade.

A total of 16.92% of shareholders opposed the merger. Shell only needed a simple majority of shareholder votes to seal the deal.

BG shareholders are also expected to approve the takeover tomorrow.

Following today's vote, which took place in The Hague, chief executive Ben van Beurden said he was "delighted with the positive shareholder vote and the confidence that shareholders have shown in the strategic logic of the combination of Shell and BG".

Shell announced last April that it had agreed to buy oil and gas exploration firm BG Group.

At the time, oil was trading at about $55 a barrel, but has fallen sharply since then and is currently trading at around $30 a barrel, leading some to question the logic of the tie-up.

One of Shell's key investors, Standard Life, said earlier this month that the proposed takeover of BG Group did not work at current oil prices.

Announcing the fund manager's intention to oppose the deal, Standard Life's head of equities, David Cumming, said oil needed to be over $60 to make the deal work financially.

He said the risk of further oil price falls and financial risks connected to BG's Brazilian assets made the deal undesirable.

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