US engineering conglomerate General Electric (GE) is to take over number three oilfield services firm Baker Hughes, merging the latter with its GE Oil & Gas business. The newly-created firm will retain the Baker Hughes name, but will be a subsidiary of GE – “Baker Hughes, a GE company,” as the promotional material puts it. GE will own 62.5% of the new company and existing Baker Hughes shareholders 37.5% as well as receiving a $7.4bn payment.

The “new” Baker...