“Halliburton-Baker Deal First Ripple In Oil Field M&A Wave”
The $34.6 billion merger between oil field service rivals Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc. announced Monday could herald a consolidation wave within the sector as companies look to protect themselves from dwindling demand for their services because of plunging oil prices, experts say.
“The effects, when commodity prices start to drop, on deal flow are not always seen immediately, but it is very common that the service companies feel it immediately,” said Hunter White, who co-chairs Thompson & Knight LLP’s energy industry group. “Oil companies have capital budgeting to do. They’re saying, ‘Do we want to spend this money on drilling or defer the drilling?’ When they start to make those decisions, that has an immediate effect on the services that are being requested.”