Discovery shareholders approve WarnerMedia acquisition

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March 11 (Reuters) – Shareholders of Discovery Inc voted on Friday to approve the media company’s $43 billion merger with WarnerMedia, bringing the deal closer to completion.

Shareholders have approved various actions, such as charter amendments and a proposed share issuance, related to the transaction. They also backed golden parachute payments to executives, in case the deal didn’t close.

The outcome was all but assured, as two of Discovery’s main investors, John C. Malone and Advance/Newhouse, agreed to vote their shares in favor of the merger. Together, they represent 43% of Discovery’s voting shares.

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In May, AT&T (TN) announced that it would spin off WarnerMedia, whose assets include HBO, CNN and studio Warner Bros, and merge it with Discovery. The combination would create one of the largest media companies in the world with a wide range of well-known film franchises and TV series, including Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, “Succession” and the “90 Day” reality series. Fiance” and “Property Brothers.”

The transaction has passed regulatory reviews by the US Department of Justice and the European Commission. Earlier this week, AT&T and Discovery secured funding for the deal through a $30 billion bond offering.

The merger is expected to close as early as April, with Discovery chief executive David Zaslav heading up the new Warner Brothers Discovery.

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Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio

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