EU signs off on Baker Hughes merger with GE Oil & Gas

The European Union’s regulatory body signed off Wednesday on the merger of Houston’s Baker Hughes with General Electric’s oil and gas division.

The European Commission’s consent sets the table for the roughly $32 billion deal to close as soon as early July, pending the deal being cleared by the U.S. Justice Department. Baker Hughes shareholders are slated to approve the deal on June 30.

The combination of Baker Hughes with GE Oil & Gas will result in the world’s second-largest energy services company, called Baker Hughes, a GE company. The deal will leave GE, based in Boston, with 62.5 percent of the combined Baker Hughes.

GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt will serve as chairman of Baker Hughes, with GE Oil & Gas CEO Lorenzo Simonelli as the new Baker Hughes CEO. Current Baker Hughes CEO Martin Craighead will become the vice chairman.

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The new Baker Hughes will have a dual headquarters in Houston and London with Simonelli primarily stationed in the United Kingdom.

The GE and Baker Hughes deal was struck months after Halliburton’s planned takeover of Baker Hughes fell apart amidst antitrust concerns from the Justice Department. However, GE and Baker Hughes don’t have nearly as much overlap as Baker Hughes does with its Halliburton rival.

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