Shell’s $70 Billion BG Acquisition Clears Brazil Hurdle

BG Group's Cidade de Ilhabela floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, the second unit deployed on the Sapinhoá field and the fifth FPSO to come onstream with BG Group as partner in the pre-salt Santos Basin, offshore Brazil. Photo: BG Group
BG Group’s Cidade de Ilhabela floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, the second unit deployed on the Sapinhoá field and the fifth FPSO to come onstream with BG Group as partner in the pre-salt Santos Basin, offshore Brazil. Photo: BG Group

 

By Katerina Petroff

(Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc obtained regulatory approval from Brazil to buy BG Group Plc, clearing another antitrust hurdle to completing the $70 billion acquisition.

Cade, as the regulator is known, published a decision approving the deal without restrictions in Brazil’s official gazette Wednesday. The transaction won’t undermine competitiveness in Brazil’s oil and gas market as other producers would have a higher market share than the combined company, Cade concluded, citing data by oil regulator ANP.

Brazil follows the U.S. in approving the industry’s biggest deal in at least a decade. Shell’s purchase at a 50 percent premium, announced in April, gives the Anglo-Dutch company liquefied natural gas assets in Australia and oil and gas fields in Kazakhstan and Brazil. It still needs approval from countries including China.

In Brazil, Shell owns stakes in offshore fields in partnership with state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA, which is selling assets to reduce the industry’s heaviest debt load.

After announcing the deal, Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben Van Beurden traveled to Brazil to meet with President Dilma Rousseff, reiterating his commitment to the country and interest in new opportunities.

Brazil is set to account for 20 percent of Hague-based Shell’s output by the end of the decade, with BG’s Brazil portfolio seen by analysts including Jefferies as a key growth driver.

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