(Bloomberg) — Noble Energy Inc. shareholders approved the company’s acquisition by Chevron Corp., cementing one of the U.S. oil industry’s biggest transactions this year.
The vote on Friday during a virtual shareholder meeting came despite opposition from Elliott Management Corp. The activist hedge fund was said to seek a break-up of the deal because it thought Chevron wasn’t paying enough. The biggest proxy-advisory firms disagreed and urged investors to support the tie-up.
When Chevron agreed to buy Noble in an all-stock deal in July, the offer was valued at $5 billion and represented a premium of about 7.5% to the target company’s share price. Since then, the deal value has declined by almost $1 billion as the coronavirus-fueled collapse in crude demand hammered oil equities.
About 10% of votes were cast against the deal, according to a regulatory filing after U.S. stock markets closed.
For Noble, the acquisition offered a path forward at a time when peers are struggling to outlast stubbornly low oil prices and investor frustration with a sector that has largely failed to generate meaningful returns. Chevron, meanwhile, gained a massive natural gas presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, while beefing up its shale footprint back in the U.S. after it walked away from a deal to buy Anadarko Petroleum Corp. last year.
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