Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc. said Tuesday they now are uncertain that their merger will be completed because a timing agreement with the antitrust division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) is going to expire before reaching a settlement.
The $34.6 billion merger announced in late 2014 would combine the No. 2 (Halliburton) and No. 3 (Baker) global oilfield service operators (see Daily GPI, Nov. 17, 2014). Halliburton is the No. 1 hydraulic fracturing provider in North America also. Since announcing their tie-up, the companies have agreed to sell assets to ensure they would pass antitrust muster. However, DOJ "has informed the companies that it does not believe that the remedies offered to date are sufficient" to address its concerns.
The companies said they are continuing discussions with federal officials and remain focused on completing the transaction "as early as possible in 2016, but there is no guarantee that an agreement with the DOJ or other competition authorities will be reached."
In that regard, Halliburton and Baker agreed to extend the transaction's closure to April 30, as permitted under the merger agreement, "though the parties would proceed with closing prior to such date if all relevant competition approvals have been obtained." The boards of both companies unanimously approved the agreement and shareholders of each company overwhelmingly voted for the transaction.Click here to read more.
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