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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Halliburton Merger with Baker Hughes Facing Hurdles

From Seeking Alpha:
The merger between Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) and Baker Hughes(NYSE:BHI) -- the biggest one for the oilfield services industry - has run into a regulatory hurdle. Halliburton originally planned to close the transaction by the second half of the current year. But last week, the company said that it has decided to extend the time period for closing the deal to April 30, 2016, since the two companies have been unable to satisfy the U.S. Justice Department's anti-trust concerns. 
Last year, Halliburton said that it would be willing to sell assets that generate $7.5 billion in annual revenues to satisfy regulatory concerns. The two have already put $5.2 billion of annual revenue generating assets on the block, including Halliburton's drill bits, directional drilling and Baker Hughes's completion assets. Halliburton and Baker Hughes have also been mulling over additional divestitures. In fact, in their press release, the two companies said that they have already "significantly enhanced" the divestiture package to address the Justice Department's specific competitive concerns which should have been "more than sufficient" to satisfy the regulators. But clearly, it hasn't. 
The regulators, however, haven't closed their doors. Halliburton also said that the Department of Justice is looking forward to further proposals that would allay anti-trust concerns while the two companies will continue to work with the regulators and remain focused on completing the transaction as early as possible in 2016. Though the companies have warned that "there is no guarantee that an agreement with the DOJ or other competition authorities will be reached."
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