Drug maker announces overwhelming support for move.
In an announcement Friday morning, Merck & Co. Inc. said its shareholders voted overwhelmingly to approve a proposed merge with Schering-Plough Corp.
Preliminary results found more than 99 percent of shareholders approved of the merge in a special meeting in Bridgewater. Schering-Plough is scheduled to hold its shareholder meeting to discuss the matter this afternoon in Boston.
"We are gratified by the shareholder confidence demonstrated through the outcome of today's vote," said Richard T. Clark, chairman, president and chief executive of Merck, based in the Whitehouse Station section of Readington. "We look forward to completing the merger with Schering-Plough and to creating a strong, global leader that can make a substantial difference to patients and global health care."
Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of Kenilworth-based Schering-Plough will receive 0.5767 of a share of new Merck common stock and $10.50 in cash for each share of Schering-Plough. For Merck shareholders, existing Merck share certificates will automatically represent an equal number of shares in the new Merck after completion of the merger.
The company expects the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2009, as originally planned, and still awaits regulatory approval.
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