Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc. announced Tuesday that its shareholders approved the proposed $43 billion merger with chief rival Covidien, announced last June.
Based on preliminary vote results, the proposal to adopt the transaction agreement and approve the merger was given the go-ahead by shareholders owning approximately 95.66 percent of the shares voted at the meeting and approximately 75.18 percent of the outstanding Medtronic shares as of the record date, the company said in a statement.
The final vote results will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
“We are extremely pleased with the positive vote we received today by our shareholders,” said Omar Ishrak, chairman and CEO of Medtronic. “We are convinced that the addition of Covidien’s people and technologies will allow us to expedite our strategic initiatives and will allow us to treat more people, in more ways and in more places around the world.”
Earlier Tuesday, Dublin, Ireland-based Covidien announced that its shareholders had also approved the transaction.
The transaction is expected to close in the last week of January or early February, subject to approval by the High Court of Ireland, the company noted.
As this media outlet reported in September 2014, both pharmaceuticals have operations in Puerto Rico — Medtronic employs more than 3,000 people at its manufacturing plants in Villalba, Juncos and Humacao, and its sales office in Guaynabo. Covidien, meanwhile, currently employs 2,200 people at its Sabanetas Industrial Park campus in Ponce.
While at the time it was not clear how the merger would affect the plants — or jobs — Felix Negrón, vice president of operations at Medtronic in Puerto Rico, said the production lines are different from each other, so it would “make sense” for both to stay.