The board of Royal Dutch Shell is working hard to persuade investors that its £40bn deal for BG Group makes sense, despite oil prices languishing well below $40 a barrel.
Just hours after Shell revealed it had cleared the final competition hurdle to the deal – after Chinese regulators gave it the nod – the oil major is now focusing its efforts on persuading shareholders that it should press ahead with the takeover.
Shell has put out a statement with further details of how it would restructure the enlarged group in order to achieve the $3.5 bn of pre-tax syngergies it has promised investors. The statement comes after David Cumming, head of equities at Standard Life Investments, said on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme earlier today that the tie-up did not make sense at current oil prices.
Shell says BG will be integrated into its own businesses and as part of that process, “office consolidation will be undertaken” in certain locations around the world. Regarding its UK offices, Shell says it will “undertake a comprehensive review during the course of 2016″.
Currently, the oil major says, 2,800 roles are expected to be cut across the enlarged group – around 3 per cent of the two companies’ total combined workforce. These roles are in addition to existing plans to reduce Shell’s headcount and contractor roles by 7,500 worldwide.
The proposed changes are subject to deal completion, engagement with affected employees and relevant employee representatives. Further detailed work will be undertaken on the details of the proposed operational and administrative restructuring as part of ongoing integration planning. The deal remains on track for completion in early 2016.
Mr Cumming said earlier that the deal doesn’t make “financial sense” at the current oil price.
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