The Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has cleared Schlumberger and Cameron's proposed US$14.8 billion merger without any conditions. This approval from China's antitrust regulator, MOFCOM, represents the last major hurdle towards closing the deal. Both companies announced they intend to finalize the merger on 1 April 2016.
The closing remains subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the remaining closing conditions contained in the merger agreement. Until that time, the companies will continue to operate as separate and independent entities and continue to serve their respective customers, the two companies said.
In November, the merger was cleared by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), paving the way to completion. The $14.8 billion stock and cash deal between Schlumberger and Cameron was announced in August 2015. The agreement was unanimously approved by both boards of directors. The merger agreement offers Cameron shareholders 0.716 shares of Schlumberger common stock and a cash payment of $14.44 in exchange for each Cameron share.
Schlumberger has been seeking to acquire several brands during the current downturn. The latest, Meta Downhole, was announced yesterday (24 March).
The merger between Schlumberger and Cameron, both of which have a stake in the OneSubsea joint venture, has been smooth sailing. In contrast, the merger between US service providers Halliburton and Baker Hughes, announced in 2014, has not enjoyed such favorable regulatory conditions. Earlier this week (21 March), the European Union (EU) opted to delay the $34.6 billion acquisition again, after not receiving key data about the deal. In December, the timing agreement with the DOJ expired without reaching a settlement or the DOJ initiating litigation at this time to block their pending transaction. The two companies have extended the closing period until the end of April.
According to a recent report from Bloomberg, several companies have come forward annoucning their opposition to the Halliburton-Baker Hughes combination, including France's Total and US supermajor Chevron's Brazilian subsidiary.