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Shell gets green light for merger with BG Group to create world’s biggest liquefied gas trader

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Royal Dutch Shell’s mega-merger with gas giant BG Group looked set to be approved yesterday, creating the world’s biggest liquefied gas trader and boosting bankers’ bonuses.

The £35billion deal got the go-ahead from Shell investors yesterday with 83 per cent of those voting backing the deal.

Today BG group will announce the result of its shareholder vote. For the deal to go ahead more than 75 per cent must approve it.

The completion of the deal – expected next month – will see a windfall of £106million of fees for various advisors on the deal including £76million to be shared by top investment banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Rothschild.

Although only a few investors publicly criticised the deal, there were major concerns it would not go through due to the tumbling oil price.

Oil is around $30 a barrel, having fallen from $115 in summer 2014. Shell announced the deal in April when oil was about $55. There were fears Shell was overpaying for BG and the deal would increase Shell’s debts and impinge on its ability to pay a dividend.

Shell’s finance boss Simon Henry said that for every $10 decline in the oil price, the combined groups’ cashflow declines by $4billion (£2.8billion).

Shell has promised huge cuts in spending and jobs when the deal completes, including culling 3pc of the combined 100,000 workforce, selling more than £20billion of assets by 2018 and saving about £2.5billion in costs.

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden said: ‘Our focus is on the successful completion of the transaction.’

More than 40 per cent of Shell’s shareholders also own about half of BG’s, according to Reuters. Analysts at BMO Capital, the investment banking division of Canadian Bank of Montreal, said there is now pressure on companies to actual sell the assets they have promised.

Shell’s shares rose 41.5p to 1462p and BG climbed 34.6p to 1029.5p.

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