The Halliburton – Baker Hughes deal has experienced a number of delays and setbacks since the deal was announced in November 2014. Going into the deal, the management of Halliburton recognized that it would have to sell numerous businesses in order to allay the Department of Justice (DOJ) concerns about Halliburton monopolizing oil field services. DOJ finally sued two weeks to stop the merger.
Besides combatting the DOJ, Halliburton had pass muster in Europe. The EU had raised many monopoly questions and delayed any decision.
GE and the Carlyle Group may come to Halliburton’s rescue. Two weeks ago, there were stories in the press that GE was looking to purchase a number of businesses from a Halliburton – Baker Hughes deal. Some people in the industry commented that GE may actually have been lobbying DOJ to sue in order to get better leverage.
Last Friday, CNBC reported that the Carlyle Group had conversations with Halliburton about purchasing businesses valued at $7 billion. From the report, it seems Carlyle purchase could make the deal more palatable to DOJ.
I’m sure GE will be responding this week to Carlyle Group’s overtures. We’ll be monitoring to see if one of three scenarios unfolds:
- DOJ with its lawsuit kills the deal.
- Carlyle Group’s purchases of $7 billion meets DOJ concerns and the deal goes through.
- GE prevails and purchases enough businesses to satisfy DOJ and the deal goes through.
Stay tuned. We’ll be monitoring this story and report the outcome.