Stockholders in fixed income trading network eSpeed have overwhelmingly approved the company's merger with brokerage BGC Partners.
The deal was green-lighted at a stockholder meeting Friday, sealing an agreement and merger plan that was first put forward by eSpeed's majority shareholder Cantor Fitzgerald in May last year.
The proposed takeover of BGC appeared in part to placate activist hedge fund investors in eSpeed, who had been concerned about corporate governance and the fiscal relationships between Cantor and its two subsidiaries. Joint service and administration agreements between eSpeed and Cantor will be terminated and renegotiated as a result of the merger.
ESpeed gives the underlying drivers for the merger as "the shared vision for the future of voice, hybrid and electronic trading, new synergies in technology infrastructure, product development and client coverage, and exceptional value for eSpeed stockholders as well as tremendous upside for stockholders of the combined company".
The deal is expected to be consumated by the end of the quarter. The combined company will be re-named BGC Partners, Inc. and will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol BGCP.