Image courtesy of Halliburton/Facebook.

The pending merger between Texas-based service giants Halliburton and Baker Hughes moved one step closer to the finish line on Friday after winning approval from stockholders in both companies.

Nearly 99 percent of the shares voted at a special meeting called by Halliburton approved a proposal to issue Halliburton shares as part of the merger.

At a separate Baker Hughes special meeting more than 98 percent of the shares voted approved the merger, representing more than 75 percent of all outstanding shares of Baker Hughes.

“We are more confident than ever that this combination will create a stronger, more diverse organization with an unsurpassed depth and breadth of services benefiting our stockholders, customers, employees and other key stakeholders of both companies,” Halliburton chairman and CEO Dave Lesar said.

Halliburton agreed to buy Baker Hughes in November for $34.6 billion in cash and stock, or $78.62 per Baker Hughes share.

The combined companies had a pro-forma 2013 revenue of $51.8 billion, beating the $45.3 billion in revenue booked by Houston-based rival Schlumberger.

The merged company will operate under the Halliburton name and trade under the New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol “HAL.”

The two companies are currently working cooperatively with the Department of Justice as the department conducts a review of the transaction.

Halliburton said it is prepared to divest from businesses that generate a combined $7.5 billion per year, although it expects regulators will require “significantly less” divestment.

The company has also agreed to pay a $3.5 billion fee if the transaction fails to win regulatory approval.

Halliburton expects the merger to save the company nearly $2 billion per year.

“Today’s results are an important milestone in our efforts to build a global leader in oilfield services that can deliver more benefits for customers, improved value for stockholders and more long-term opportunities for employees,” Baker Hughes chairman and CEO Martin Craighead said.

The transaction must still win regulatory approval and is expected to close late in the second half of 2015.



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