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

The pending $70 billion merger between Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group moved one step closer to the finish line on Wednesday when the deal won its final approval from Australian regulators.

Shell said the deal received approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board, just weeks after receiving unconditional approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Shell added that it will commit to undertake a cooperative compliance approach to taxation arrangements for BG Group’s wholly-owned subsidiary QGC.

The deal’s regulatory review process in Australia is now complete.

Together with previously announced clearances in Brazil and EU, four of the five pre-conditions to the combination have now been satisfied.

The deal must still win approval from China’s Ministry of Commerce.

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

BG shareholders will hold a 19 percent stake in the combined group once the acquisition is complete.

The deal is expected to grow Shell’s proved oil and gas reserves by 25 percent and increase its production by 20 percent while saving the company $2.5 billion per year.

“The addition of BG’s integrated gas assets in Australia to Shell’s global portfolio is one of the main strategic drivers behind the recommended combination. The Shell-BG combination is a sign of Shell’s confidence in the Australian economy. It is also a springboard to change Shell into a simpler, more profitable and resilient company,” Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said.

Van Beurden added that the deal remains on track to be completed in early 2016.


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