Baker Hughes and Schlumberger plan to create a new seismic venture called Western GECO that would combine and own the seismic acquisition assets, data processing assets, and multi-client seismic libraries and other assets of their existing subsidiaries Western Geophysical and GECO-Prakla. The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of the year and is subject to regulatory approvals.

Upon formation of the venture, Baker Hughes would receive from Schlumberger $500 million in cash. The transaction would also allow Baker Hughes to make certain working capital and asset reductions valued at $100 million. Baker Hughes and Schlumberger would own 30% and 70% of the venture, respectively.

The companies have made filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, and are responding to requests for additional information from the Department of Justice. In addition, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger intend to make additional filings with regulatory authorities in certain European and other countries.

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