Halliburton Ends Planned Acquisition of Baker Hughes
The two companies were the second and third largest in the gas and oil services industry and both said they were ending their planned agreement that was reached first back in November of 2014.
Backer Hughes agreed at that time to be acquired for $34.6 billion by Halliburton, its bigger rival.
While the two companies both expected the planned merger to end in compelling benefits for customers, shareholders and other types of stakeholders, the challenges involved in obtaining the regulatory approvals that remained and the general conditions in the industry, which has damaged deal economics severely, led to the final conclusion that terminating the planned merger was the best action to take, said Dave Lesar the CEO at Halliburton.
Baker Hughes CEO Martin Craighead said this outcome was a big disappointment for both parties.
Craighead added that it was a global transaction, extremely complex and in the end, a solution was not found to satisfy the concerns of antitrust by regulators, both those in the U.S. and those abroad.
Back at the time the original deal was hammered out, Halliburton announced that it had hired the best available antitrust counsel, but it did not work, said Lesar.
Members of the European Commission started investigating this past January the proposed merger and the Department of Justice in the U.S. moved to block it April 6.
The DOJ said the merger would eliminate very vital competition, harm consumers in the U.S. and skew worldwide energy markets.
Loretta Lynch the Attorney General of the U.S. estimated that these two companies when combined would control up to a possibly more than 90% of sales in the U.S.
Following the announcement by the DOJ, both companies initially said they vowed to fight the decision.
The companies, through a joint prepared statement, said that the Justice Department had reached an incorrect conclusion in the assessment it made of this transactions and that the action by the federal agency was counterproductive, especially related to the context of the challenges that the U.S. as well as global energy industry was facing today.
However, the two companies now have decided to end their bid to become one.
Halliburton said that the move would have enabled it to cuts its costs by up to as much as $2 billion per year, which would free much needed cash as the oil prices continued to plunge hurting the bottom line of the company.