Shareholders of US firm Wyeth Pharmaceuticals have overwhelmingly supported a move that will see rival drug maker Pfizer take over the company in a $68bn deal.

The planned merger announced in January 2009 will now go ahead after 98% of shareholders voted in favour of the deal.

The shareholder commitment follows closely on the heels of a European Commission decision to approve the acquisition under the European Union (EU) Merger Regulation.

The Commission’s decision was subject to Pfizer’s commitment to divest certain animal health assets in the EU.
Wyeth chairman and chief executive Bernard Poussot said that the merger was in the best interests of the company and its stockholders.

“Combined with Pfizer, we see opportunities for increased scale and resources to become the world’s premier biopharmaceutical company and an industry leader in human, consumer and animal healthcare, in disease prevention and treatment,” Poussot said.