Shell Said to Hire Barclays to Arrange $15 Billion BG Loan

Royal Dutch Shell Plc hired Barclays Plc to help arrange a 10 billion pound ($15 billion) loan to help fund its purchase of BG Group Plc, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The short-term bridge facility will replace an existing 3 billion-pound loan provided by Bank of America Corp. on April 8, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the transaction is private. The loan will help fund the cash component of the purchase price, the people said.

Shell agreed last month to buy smaller competitor BG Group for $70 billion in cash and shares in the oil and gas industry’s biggest deal in at least a decade. The acquisition has been met with skepticism from shareholders who are concerned the price may be too high, could dilute earnings and relies on a quick rebound in crude to about $90 a barrel to ensure success.

Jonathan French, a spokesman for Shell, and Jon Laycock, a spokesman for Barclays, declined to comment on the financing.

The loan will be marketed to a wider group of lenders this month, one of the people said. Shell wants to complete the deal before fees on the existing 3 billion-pound loan start to rise.

The merged company, led by Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden, will have a market value twice the size of BP Plc and surpass Chevron Corp.

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