Southwest Airlines confirmed that shareholders of AirTran Holdings, Inc., the parent company of AirTran Airways (AirTran), have overwhelmingly approved the proposed acquisition of AirTran by Southwest Airlines. More than 98.6 percent of votes cast and 77.5 percent of shares outstanding were voted in favor of the acquisition, Southwest reports.
The transaction remains under review by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and is subject to certain other regulatory clearances. Southwest and AirTran continue to operate as two independent companies pending those clearances. Southwest said it anticipates the transaction to close in the second quarter of this year.
"We appreciate the confidence AirTran shareholders have in Southwest to continue the good work of AirTran's hardworking Crew Members (employees) who have made AirTran a successful airline over the past 17 years," said Gary Kelly, Chairman, CEO, and President of Southwest Airlines. "This approval is another important and exciting step toward completing the transaction and beginning the integration of AirTran into Southwest to ultimately serve the flying public as one carrier."
On September 27, 2010, Southwest Airlines announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of AirTran Holdings, Inc., for a combination of cash and Southwest Airlines' common stock.