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Halliburton, Baker Merger On Track Following Shareholder OK

Nearly all shareholders voting Friday for the proposed combination of Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc. approved the mega-merger, which would bring together the No. 2 and No. 3 global oilfield service companies.

Close to 99% of the shares voted at Halliburton's special meeting voted in favor of the tie-up, while 98% of Baker's shares were voted to OK the transaction, which was announced in November (see Shale Daily, Nov. 14, 2014). At the time, the merger was valued at $34.6 billion.

"We are more confident than ever that this combination will create a stronger, more diverse organization with an unsurpassed depth and breadth of services benefiting our stockholders, customers, employees and other key stakeholders of both companies," Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar said.

At the end of 2014, Halliburton had a 28% share of the North American pressure pumping business, while Baker held 26% and No. 1 provider Schlumberger Ltd. had 14%. For hydraulic fracturing techniques, Halliburton's market share was about 26%, with Baker at 13% and Schlumberger at about 20%. In the cementing/pumping business lines, Halliburton controlled 35% of the market, Baker 16% and Schlumberger had 27%.

The transaction, which is set to close later this year, still requires regulatory approvals. To ensure approval from U.S. regulators, the companies have indicated they may sell up to $10 billion in combined assets. The U.S. Department of Justice in February said as a prerequisite of approving the merger, the companies would be required to eliminate at least four groups of overlapping business lines that comprise directional drilling operations and drill bits, as well as Baker's cementing business.

The combined company last November was estimated to have a market cap of more than $70 billion, compared to Schlumberger, which had an estimated $122 billion market cap.

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