Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. brand medication sits on a pharmacy shelf in Provo, Utah, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. A Nov. 2015 forecast from health data firm IMS Health expects global sales of brand and generic prescription drugs, and nonprescription medicines, to total $1.4 trillion in 2020. Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg
© Bloomberg

Bristol-Myers Squibb said Friday its shareholders voted to approve its $90bn takeover of fellow drugmaker Celgene.

More than 75 per cent of shareholders voted in favour of the move, according to the company. Celgene shareholders also gave their support for the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter but awaits US regulatory approval.

“Together with Celgene, we will create a premier innovative biopharma company with leading scientific capabilities that is well positioned to address the needs of patients through high-value innovative medicines,” Bristol-Myers chairman and chief executive Giovanni Caforio said in a statement. “We look forward to bringing the companies together, which we believe will deliver significant shareholder value.”

The tie-up, which will create one of the world’s largest producers of cancer drugs, had faced opposition from investor groups. One of the groups, Starboard Value, withdrew its proxy urging shareholders to vote down the transaction last month after influential advisory groups Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis offered their support for the deal. Wellington Management also had said it would vote against the Celgene acquisition.

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