Bristol-Myers Squibb has secured shareholders’ approval for its $74bn acquisition of biotechnology company Celgene . More than 75% of the shareholders voted in favour of the merger agreement.

Celgene shareholders also voted to approve, with nearly 98% of the votes supporting the deal.

As per the terms of the agreement, Celgene stockholders will get one Bristol-Myers share and $50 in cash per share of the biotech’s common stock.

The merger is expected to create a speciality biopharma company. Subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, the acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

The combined entity will have a portfolio of nine products with more than $1bn in annual sales and six launch prospects with more than $15bn revenue potential. It will also feature 50 assets in the early stage pipeline.

“The combined company will create a leading focused specialty biopharma company well positioned to address the needs of patients with cancer, inflammatory and immunologic disease and cardiovascular disease.”

Celgene chairman and CEO Mark Alles said: “The combined company will create a leading focused specialty biopharma company well positioned to address the needs of patients with cancer, inflammatory and immunologic disease and cardiovascular disease through high-value innovative medicines and leading scientific capabilities.”

The deal, which is considered to be one of the largest in the industry, had faced opposition from investor groups Wellington Management and Starboard Value.

Wellington argued that the transaction is too risky for BMS shareholders and also raised concerns over the execution success, while Starboard Value called it ‘poorly conceived and ill-advised.’

Last month, Starboard Value withdrew its campaign against the merger after proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis offered their support in favour of the deal.

Announcing the advisory groups’ recommendation, Bristol-Myers said: “We are confident that combining Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celgene will create a leading focused specialty biopharma company that is well positioned to address the needs of patients across disease areas and generate meaningful financial benefits for all shareholders through 2025 and beyond.”