Shell Shareholders OK $49 Billion Deal to Buy UK Rival BG

January 2016, Vol. 243, No. 1

LONDON (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell shareholders have overwhelmingly backed the $49 billion bid to buy BG Group, despite a slide in oil prices that have had some critics wondering about the wisdom of the mega-deal.

More than 80% of shareholders approved the move on Wednesday. The deal will boost Shell’s oil  and gas reserves by 25% and increase its presence in the fast-growing liquefied natural gas market.

BG shareholders vote on the offer Thursday. If approved, the deal’s final value will be determined Feb. 15.

Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden says he’s delighted with the “confidence that shareholders have shown in the strategic logic” of the deal.

The international price of crude oil has plunged from over $100 a barrel in 2014 to about $31 a barrel.

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