Shell said Wednesday that its shareholders have voted to approve the company’s pending merger with BG Group.
According to Shell, 83.08 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the combination with 16.92 percent of shareholders voting against the merger.
BG shareholders are scheduled to vote on the deal on January 28.
If BG shareholders approve the merger the transaction is expected to be completed on February 15, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain customary conditions.
“I am delighted with the positive shareholder vote and the confidence that shareholders have shown in the strategic logic of the combination of Shell and BG. Our immediate focus is on the successful completion of the transaction and we now await the results of tomorrow’s BG shareholder vote,” Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said.
Shell agreed in 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 plans to cut 2,800 jobs as part of a broader restructuring plan to be implemented after the merger is complete.
Those reductions are in addition to Shell’s previously announced plans to reduce its headcount and contractor positions by 7,500 globally.
Shell said in December that it expects the restructuring will be necessary to achieve the combination’s expected benefits, including previously disclosed pre-tax synergies of $3.5 billion
Shell said last week that “preparations are well advanced for $30 billion of asset sales in 2016-18” assuming the successful completion of the BG merger.
The merger is expected to grow Shell’s proved oil and gas reserves by 25 percent and raise its production by 20 percent.
Shell warned last week that full year earnings for 2015 may drop by nearly $9 billion from the previous year.
Shell expects full year 2015 earnings on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis, excluding identified items, to be in the range of $10.4 billion to $10.7 billion, a sharp slide from $19 billion in full year earnings in 2014.
Shell’s fourth quarter and full year 2015 results and fourth quarter 2015 dividend are scheduled to be announced on February 4, 2016.