Regulatory shadow over Halliburton plan

Regulatory shadow over Halliburton plan

There is certainly commercial logic behind Halliburton’s move to acquire rival Baker Hughes – to form an oilfield services company that would be slightly more than half the size of the dominant global leader Schlumberger – as plunging oil prices threaten to curb activity in the sector.

The combined operation would doubtless benefit from the resultant loss of competition in the services side of the business, and investors seem convinced – as Baker Hughes shares climbed 15% to US$58.75 yesterday and Halliburton’s rose 1.1% to US$53.79 to value the companies at US$25bn and US$46bn respectively.