Shell shareholders approve deal to buy UK rival BG

Deal is worth $49 billion.

LONDON — Royal Dutch Shell shareholders have overwhelmingly backed the $49 billion bid to buy BG Group, despite a slide in oil prices that have had some critics wondering about the wisdom of the mega-deal.

More than 80% of shareholders approved the move on Jan. 27. The deal will boost Shell’s oil and gas reserves by 25% and increase its presence in the fast-growing liquefied natural gas market.

BG shareholders vote on the offer Jan. 28. If approved, the deal’s final value will be determined Feb. 15.

Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden says he’s delighted with the “confidence that shareholders have shown in the strategic logic” of the deal.

The international price of crude oil has plunged from over $100 a barrel in 2014 to around $31 a barrel.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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