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Weatherford International plc (ticker: WFT) said that the U.S. Department of Justice has cleared the proposed OneStimSM joint venture between two oilfield service giants—Weatherford and Schlumberger Ltd. (ticker: SLB)—granting early termination of the waiting period required by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. This paves the way for a Q4 2017 closing, which Weatherford had projected in October.

Schlumberger Chairman and CEO Paal Kibsgaard commented, “The joint-venture creates a new industry leader in terms of hydraulic horsepower and multistage completions technologies in North America, which through its scale offers a cost-effective and highly competitive service delivery platform. OneStimSM is uniquely positioned to provide customers with leading operational efficiency and best-in-class hydraulic fracturing and completions technologies, while at the same time significantly improving full-cycle shareholder returns from this market.”

The joint venture will deliver completions products and services for the development of unconventional resource plays in the United States and Canada land markets. The joint venture will offer one of the broadest multistage completions portfolios in the market, combined with one of the largest hydraulic fracturing fleets in the industry.

Weatherford will contribute its multistage completions portfolio, cost-effective regional manufacturing capability, and supply chain. Schlumberger will provide the joint venture with access to its industry-leading surface and downhole technologies, efficient operational processes, and advanced geo-engineered workflows.

Schlumberger and Weatherford will have 70/30 ownership of the joint venture, respectively. Weatherford will receive a one-time $535 million cash payment from Schlumberger. Schlumberger will manage the joint venture and consolidate it for financial reporting purposes.

Weatherford Chairman William E. Macaulay said, “The OneStimSM joint venture creates a leading unconventional products and services provider in North America. This transaction will allow Weatherford to deleverage its balance sheet while retaining a significant exposure to the unconventional market. This transaction was unanimously approved by the board of directors and will create significant value for both parties.”

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