London- General Electric Co (GE.N) said on Monday it would merge its oil and gas business with Baker Hughes Inc (BHI.N), creating the world’s second-largest oil field services provider as competition heats up to supply more-efficient products and services to the energy industry after several years of low crude prices.
The deal to create a company with $32 billion in annual revenue will combine GE’s strengths in making equipment long-prized by oil producers with Baker Hughes’s expertise in drilling and fracking new wells.
GE will own 62.5 percent of the new publicly-traded company. The deal is expected to close in mid-2017.
The new company will vault Baker Hughes’s market share ahead of rival Halliburton Co (HAL.N), which tried and failed to buy Baker until the deal collapsed last May, and also compete heavily with Schlumberger NV (SLB.N), the world’s largest oilfield service provider, for customers.
The deal comes at a time when North American oil and gas producers are putting rigs back to work after a near-freeze in activity caused by a slump in oil prices that began mid-2014.
Baker Hughes shares rose as much as 5 percent in morning trade before reversing course to trade down nearly 8 percent at $54.60. Shares of GE slipped 0.1 percent to $29.18.