Monday, May 2, 2016

Halliburton, Baker Hughes said to call off merger

HOUSTON (Bloomberg) -- Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc. are preparing to call off their $28-billion merger, which has met stiff antitrust resistance from regulators in the U.S. and Europe, a person familiar with the situation said.

The companies, the second- and third-largest oil-service firms, may announce as soon as Monday morning that they have terminated the combination, said the person, who asked not to be identified.

The companies had set a deadline for the end of April to complete the deal or walk away. Halliburton will have to pay Baker Hughes a $3.5-billion termination fee.

A representative for Halliburton didn’t return a call for comment outside of regular business hours, while a representative for Baker Hughes declined to comment.

Halliburton announced the Baker Hughes takeover in November 2014 in a bid to better compete against industry leader Schlumberger Ltd. The U.S. Justice Department had filed a lawsuit in early April to stop the merger, saying it threatens to eliminate head-to-head competition in 23 products and services used in oil exploration.


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