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Shell’s plan to take over BG is still in the pipeline

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Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 09.03.45Sunday 24 January 2016 08.59 GMT

It’s nine months since Shell announced it was buying BG Group in an agreed £47bn deal and almost everything has changed. Back in April, the oil price appeared to be recovering from its fall below $50 a barrel but the price has since plunged below $30. The International Energy Agency warned last week it could fall further in a world “awash” with oil.

Shell and BG shareholders vote on the takeover this week but, despite the industry’s dire state, they will approve the deal, now worth £35bn to reflect Shell’s depressed share price. This is partly due to faith in the ability of Shell’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, to make it work. It’s also because most big shareholders don’t want to rock the boat in public with a company as powerful as Shell. Only Standard Life has broken ranks by declaring it would vote against.

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