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BG chief welcomes $70 billion Shell offer with ‘mixed emotions’

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Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, left, shakes hands with the Chairman of BG group Andrew Gould during the press conference announcing Royal Dutch Shell had agreed to buy British Gas for $70 Billion. 

BG chief welcomes $70 billion Shell offer with ‘mixed emotions’

Tuesday May 5, 2015 

(Reuters) – BG (BG.L) Chief Executive Helge Lund on Tuesday welcomed with “mixed emotions” Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDSa.L) $70 billion takeover bid, which came only two months after he took office.

Speaking at BG’s annual general meeting in Reading, England, the former Statoil (STL.OL) boss said there is still much to do before the transaction can complete but that Shell’s bid, at a 50 percent premium to BG’s share price on April 7, maximizes BG’s value while removing potential risks.

“This is a strong deal for our shareholders,” he said.

“That said, you will understand that, from a leadership perspective, I do have slightly mixed emotions as I was looking forward to taking BG forward and a takeover was certainly not in my mind when I joined the company.”

Lund took office on Feb. 9 with a mandate to turn BG around after a string of profit warnings and delays on major projects.

Completion of the agreed takeover will trigger payouts for Lund that could see his first year’s pay top 32 million pounds ($47.8 million), a Reuters analysis of corporate filings showed last month.

Shell’s offer, first raised in a mid-March phone call between Shell CEO Ben van Beurden and BG Chairman Andrew Gould, was announced on April 7.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Writing by Ron Bousso; Editing by David Goodman)

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