Approval for the $16.6 billion merger of Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent is widely expected from Nokia’s shareholders Wednesday, who are convening at an extraordinary general meeting in Helsinki today, The Economic Times reported.
Shareholder approval will be one of the last signoffs for the deal, which has already cleared regulatory hurdles across the globe. The United States, China, and the European Union have all approved the merger, and the deal has received antitrust clearances in Albania, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Russia and Serbia.
Though approval from Nokia’s shareholders is expected, confirmation of a go ahead will likely come as a relief to all parties involved. In August, regulatory filings revealed that Nokia would have to pay Alcatel-Lucent fees of $166 million (€150 million) if Nokia shareholders fail to approve the issuance of Nokia shares in the exchange or $331 million (€300 million) in the event that the Nokia board of directors withdraws its support for the deal.
Similarly, Alcatel-Lucent would owe Nokia penalties of $331 million if the Alcatel-Lucent board of directors withdraw its support or $331 million if the deal goes sour and Alcatel-Lucent pursues a similar agreement elsewhere within 12 months.
The meeting of Nokia shareholders was scheduled for 9 a.m. Eastern Time, or 4 p.m. local time in Helsinki.
With approval, the merger will create a company boasting a combined revenue of approximately $27.6 billion last year, making it a comparable force to Swedish telecoms equipment giant Ericsson, which reported full-year 2014 revenues of approximately $26.7 billion.
The deal is expected to close in early 2016 if all approvals are granted.