Shell shareholders approve $49 billion BG takeover

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[January 27, 2016]  By Karolin Schaps

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (Reuters) - Shareholders of Royal Dutch Shell approved the company's $49 billion takeover of BG Group <BG.L> on Wednesday, clearing one of the final hurdles for a deal that will create the world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) trader.

As many as 83 percent of shareholders voted in favor and 17 percent against the deal, one of the largest in the energy sector in the past decade.

BG shareholders will cast their votes in London on Thursday.

"Our immediate focus is on the successful completion of the transaction and we now await the results of tomorrow’s BG shareholder vote," said Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden in a statement.

Shares in BG were down 0.2 percent at 1237 GMT (7:37 a.m. ET), while Shell's B shares traded 2.4 percent lower, compared with a 1.7 percent decline in the European oil and gas index <.SXEP>.

Over 40 percent of Shell's shareholders also own around half of BG's stock, according to Reuters data.

If the deal is approved by all shareholders on both sides, the two companies will merge on Feb. 15. Shell will then become the world's most powerful LNG trader and gain access to valuable oil resources offshore Brazil and in Australia.

(Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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