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Major Shell, BG shareholder expresses support for $53 billion merger

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Deals | Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:09pm EST: LONDON

Top 10 Royal Dutch Shell RDsa.L and BG Group (BG.L) shareholder Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN.L) said on Tuesday it supported Shell’s proposed $53 billion acquisition of its smaller British rival.

“We’re supportive of the deal from a strategic perspective. It makes a lot of sense to put the two companies together,” Ben Ritchie, senior investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management, told Reuters.

Shell said on Tuesday it planned to complete the proposed takeover by Feb. 15 if the deal is approved by both sets of shareholders at meetings due to be held at the end of January, and outlined plans for further spending cuts next year in the face of low oil prices.

Aberdeen Asset Management owns 1.8 percent of both Shell and BG and is the ninth largest investor in both firms, according to Thomson Reuters data.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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