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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shareholders OK Conoco-Phillips Tie

HOUSTON -- Shareholders of Conoco Inc. and Phillips Petroleum Co. overwhelmingly approved the companies' proposed $15.6 billion merger Tuesday, removing another hurdle before the companies can create the United States' third-largest oil corporation.

Stockholders of each company approved the deal in separate meetings by more than 96 percent of shares voted.

The votes came a week after the European Union signed off on the marriage. Canada also has approved it, leaving the U.S. Federal Trade Commission as the last hurdle.

The FTC has requested more information before it approves the deal.

Both companies are hopeful the merger will close in the second half of 2002.

The new company, ConocoPhillips, would assume Conoco's home in Houston, leaving in limbo the 2,400 Phillips employees in its hometown of Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma politicians lobbied the new company to be based there, but executives from both companies decided it made more sense to locate in Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city and energy-industry hub.

Only Exxon Mobil and ChevronTexaco would be larger than ConocoPhillips in the United States, and it would be the sixth-largest investor-owned oil company worldwide.

The company would control or have stakes in 19 refineries worldwide with a capacity of 2.6 million barrels per day. It would be the top U.S. refiner and would be behind 17,000 U.S. gas stations flagged by the respective corporate names along with the Circle K and 76 brands.

Joint oil reserves of the new supermajor would be about 8.7 billion barrels. The companies estimate the deal will save them $750 million annually once redundancies and an undetermined number of workers are cut.

Though both companies describe the deal as a merger of equals, Phillips shareholders would own 56.6 percent of ConocoPhillips, with Conoco shareholders coming away with 43.4 percent.

Phillips chairman and chief executive officer James Mulva would be president and chief executive of the combined company. His lieutenants will be a mix of current Phillips and Conoco executives.

Conoco chairman Archie Dunham is delaying his retirement to serve as chairman of the new company until he steps down in 2004, when Mulva would add that title.

Each company would supply the new board with eight directors.