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BG Group CEO Helge Lund. Image courtesy of BG Group/Flickr.

Shell and BG Group’s $70 billion merger passed a major milestone on Tuesday after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved the deal.

According to Reuters, the merger won a green light from the FTC on Tuesday but must still be approved in all of the countries BG Group has operations, including Australia, Brazil, China and the European Union.

“We’re well underway with the anti-trust and regulatory filing processes in relevant jurisdictions around the world and we’re confident that, following the usual thorough and professional review by the relevant authorities, the deal will receive the necessary approvals,” Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden told Reuters.

Royal Dutch Shell agreed in early April to acquire UK-based BG Group for about $70 billion in cash and shares.

BG shareholders will receive 383 pence in cash and 0.4454 Shell B shares per BG share, a 52 percent premium over the company’s closing price on April 7.

Shell will also provide a mix and match facility that will allow BG shareholders to vary the portions of new shares to cash they receive.

“BG will accelerate Shell’s financial growth strategy, particularly in deep water and liquefied natural gas: two of Shell’s growth priorities and areas where the company is already one of the industry leaders,” van Beurden said when the deal was announced.

The two companies expect the deal to close in early 2016.