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No regulatory approval yet for Shell/PetroChina Arrow bid

Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina denied a media report they have already received approval from Australia's foreign investment watchdog for their A$3.45 billion ($3.18 billion) billion takeover bid for Arrow Energy.

“Shell and PetroChina continue to work with the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) on their application to acquire Arrow Energy, which was only lodged with FIRB last week,” a spokesman for the Shell/PetroChina joint venture vehicle said on Tuesday.

The foreign investment watchdog can take between one to four months to consider takeover applications, the spokesman said.

The Australian Financial Review newspaper said on Tuesday the two energy giants have received clearance from the FIRB, satisfying one of the key conditions of the offer.

Under new guidelines issued by the FIRB last year, major transactions involving state-owned enterprises, in particular those in which it will gain a significant size of an Australian asset, are likely to come under greater scrutiny from the board. (Reuters)