Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden. Image courtesy of Shell/Flickr.

A UK court has approved the $70 billion merger between Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group.

The High Court of Justice of England and Wales sanctioned the scheme of arrangement on Thursday to effect the combination between Shell and BG.

The court order approving the merger must now be delivered to the Registrar of Companies.

Shell expects the merger to become effective on February 15, 2016.

The companies expect to suspend dealings in BG shares as of 6.00 p.m. on February 12, 2016.

Trading of BG stock on the London Stock Exchange is expected to be canceled as of  8.00 a.m. London time on February 15.

The companies also expect the admission of new Shell shares to the premium segment of the Official List and to trading on the main market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange to be effective as of 8.00 a.m. London time on February 15.

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 shrink its headcount and contractor positions by 7,500 globally.

Shell said in December it anticipates the restructuring will be required to achieve the merger’s expected benefits, including previously disclosed pre-tax synergies of $3.5 billion.

The merger is expected to grow Shell’s proved oil and gas reserves by 25 percent and raise its production by 20 percent.


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