The Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has approved Royal Dutch Shell’s proposed $70bn acquisition of BG Group.
The latest approval follows the unconditional approval given by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on 19 November and will be the final regulatory review process that is required in the country.
FIRB’s approval included a condition designed to avoid disputes with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Reuters reported.
Shell said that four of the five pre-conditions needed for the merger and the previously announced clearances in Brazil and EU have now been satisfied.
The companies are now waiting for approval by China’s Ministry of Commerce.
Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said: "The FIRB approval is an important step towards deal completion."
"The addition of BG’s integrated gas assets in Australia to Shell’s global portfolio is one of the main strategic drivers behind the recommended combination. The Shell-BG combination is a sign of Shell’s confidence in the Australian economy."
Shell expects to complete the deal in early 2016.
The news agency reported Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison saying that the proposal has been approved on condition that Shell will provide a transparent ongoing commitment to engage with the ATO with regarding its tax affairs in relation to the BG Group acquisition.
In September 2015, the deal was cleared by the European Commission saying that Shell will not have market power to benefit in sectors such as oil and gas exploration, liquefaction of gas and the wholesale supply of liquefied natural gas.
Image: Shell head office, Carel van Bylandtlaan, The Hague. Photo: courtesy of PL van Till.