Shell has confirmed it will retain a number of key executives after it completes its $70bn takeover of BG Group, which should signal that the merger is still on track.
Steve Hill, BG’s current executive vice-president for global energy marketing and shipping, will become Shell’s executive vice-president for gas and energy marketing and trading after the merger is concluded, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg and confirmed by the two companies.
Likewise, BG’s COO Sami Iskander is to become executive vice-president for joint ventures for Shell.
Katie Jackson, BG Group’s executive vice-president for global strategy and business development, will also take up a yet unspecified role at Shell. Jackson joined BG Group last year from Statoil.
The memo did not mention the fate of BG’s CEO Helge Lund or its CFO Simon Lowth, Bloomberg said.
The news should offer investors some comfort that the merger is to go ahead as planned. On November 14, it was announced the Qatar Investment Authority has offloaded shares in Shell and BG worth nearly £1bn in recent weeks.
The takeover would make Shell the world’s top LNG trader and a key offshore oil producer. Shell plans to runs its natural gas business as a “stand-alone organisation” led by Maarten Wetselaar, who will become integrated gas director and a member of Shell’s executive committee after the merger.
Earlier this month, Shell said the BG Group deal would save it an additional $1bn in operating costs, which it hopes will keep the merged entity competitive in spite of the low oil price environment. Synergies from the deal are now estimated at $3.5bn in total, the Anglo-Dutch company said.
The merger still requires regulatory approvals from Australia and China before being brought before shareholders, but Shell hopes to complete the proposed acquisition in early 2016.