Millipore Corp. (NYSE:MIL) shareholders approved a $7.2 billion merger proposed by German pharmaceutical giant Merck KGaA (NYSE:MRK).
The $107-per-share deal, announced in February, would see Merck take on another $890 million in Millipore debt.
The shareholder approval removes one hurdle for the merger, which must still satisfy European anti-trust rules. The waiting period mandated by U.S. laws elapsed April 19, according to a press release. Millipore said it expects the acquisition to close "early in the third quarter of 2010," according to the release.
The February merger announcement ended a bidding war for Billerica, Mass.-based Millipore. Companies rumored to be in the running included Waltham, Mass.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO), which may have upped the ante three times in its quest for its Bay State neighbor. Merck plans to maintain Millipore’s Billerica base as its U.S. headquarters.