Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines stockholders today consented to the carriers' merger proposal, moving the proposed transaction forward to its targeted close by year-end.
The carriers, already in the midst of some integration efforts, now await a nod from the U.S. Department of Justice—the last major regulatory hurdle to a combined entity.
Delta today said 99 percent of the votes cast by its stockholders and 98 percent of Northwest's stockholder votes favored the transaction.
The carriers in recent months have moved the transaction forward in other ways, gaining "unconditional clearance" from the European Commission in early August, and just last week gaining the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's blessing for a single operating certificate.
During today's vote, Delta stockholders approved the issuance of 1.25 shares of Delta stock for each share of Northwest stock upon the closing of the agreement. The carriers today also said stockholders approved "an amendment to Delta's broad-based employee compensation program that will allow the company to distribute equity to U.S.-based employees of the combined company shortly after the merger closes."
Delta and Northwest in April announced their intentions to merge with a $17.7 billion all-stock agreement to create the world's largest airline (BTNonline, April 15)